My mother was born in India may 14 1947, two months before India was free. She was the middle child of 7 children. Her family immigrated to the US in 1955. I grew up hearing of all the pain caused in the revolution and partition from my grandparents and my older aunt's and uncles. My mother married my father, a wasp (white Anglo-Saxon protestant) against her families wishes, although they forgave her, so I was brought up with two cultures, religions, etc. I am an artist, author and RN. It is with this background that I read Mrs. Gandhi's book.
This book has been edited since some of the older reviews have been written and many of the problems stated are not present. This should be noted. The use of Hindi with translation in brakets is distracting to me but I don't need the transition. I feel the Hindi is important to the story as it help the reader immerse in the flavor of India, and readers unfamiliar with Hindi stated it was to hard to look up the words in a glossary. I feel this is a great compromise. One reviewer complained the translations were not exact. I feel they are enough to give the reader an understanding of the scene without a lengthy definition.
This book was an emotional read, beautifully written. I feel it truly represents what my family lived through, as they were not involved in the politics, but suffered greatly. My Nani lost her whole family with the exception of one sister who came to the US with them. They were part of a movement to revive Buddhism in India. They were killed by Muslims. This is not a history book; it is not here to teach you; it isn't 100% historically accurate as one review criticized; it isn't supposed to be. It is historical FICTION, and I believe in this context the author is very successful. I was able to feel what the characters were feeling, the pain, lose and turmoil, as well as the friendships and love.