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Rani of Rampur by [Misra, Suneeta]
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Rani of Rampur Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rani of Rampur - Book Review December 30, 2012
By August
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Rani of Rampur is a well written debut novel by Suneeta Misra. I liked the way Ms. Misra has visualized the story. The characters come alive as the story is played out in the village of Rampur. We see this happen mostly through the eyes of Rani, a poor but educated city girl from Bareilly. The references to the politics of India, land laws, and women's empowerment come through in the story, and we understand that these subject areas are where Ms. Misra's heart lies. Waiting to see what she will be penning down next!
Comment | 
5.0 out of 5 stars Rani of Rampur January 1, 2013
By Chetan
Format:Kindle Edition
Its an interesting book set in India which has a strong girl character. Fast paced book and fun to read.

From the Back Cover

Synopsis of Rani of Rampur

Rani is a journalist in a small local newspaper in Bareilly, India. Besides her schoolteacher father, who is also the neighborhood poet and drunk, her family includes two sisters and a mother, Shakuntala, who has a past history of her own. The mother had run away from a small village, Rampur, in India, rebelling against a powerful father, who was forcing her to marry an ambitious and morally dubious suitor, Vir Singh.  She leaves behind her only other sister, Savitri, who ends up marrying the jilted man. Besides being unethical, this son-in-law also had a wealthy first wife, who died in questionable circumstances, leaving behind a traumatized young son called Durlabh.
In the years that Shakuntala is away from Rampur, Vir Singh inherits both the wealth and the political legacy her father leaves behind after his death. Vir also rises in power and becomes a Member of Parliament from the dominant national party. His eldest son, Durlabh, from his first wife, is now engaged to the daughter of the Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh. This will end up solidifying Vir Singh's position both in the party and the State.

Twenty-five years after being disowned by her family, Shakuntala receives a letter from her sister, Savitri.  Rani has been invited by her aunt to come to Rampur to help in the preparations for the forthcoming marriage. "I am unwell," says Savitri, "and cannot do this by myself." As enticement, she also adds that this will soften Vir Singh and improve relations between the two families for the future.
Shakuntala takes this invitation as an opportunity for her daughter to get details and photographs of the estate, so they can lay claim to her share. The Supreme Court of India, she says, now allows daughters an equal share in inherited family property.

With curiosity and a sense of purpose, Rani sets forth on the journey to Rampur, where she hopes, if nothing else, she will at least get a good story for her newspaper. She meets her three unfriendly cousins and the long suffering Durlabh, who seems incapable of standing up to anybody. The Aunt seems to have her own reasons for inviting Rani, which might just call for seducing Durlabh away from his powerfully connected fiancée in order to clear the way for her own wastrel son, Vijay. Meanwhile, the daughter of the house, Anjali, is playing a dangerous game in consorting with a lower caste boy from the village, who is the son of a political rival of Vir Singh. The youngest son, Roop, is also playing with fire when he begins to pursue the angry bastard of Vir Singh, who is born of the village courtesan clever enough to have contrived a good education for her son.
In this dangerous household where she witnesses Vir Singh commit murder, Rani navigates her way to keep herself, and others she hold dear, safe. Will Rani achieve her goal of securing her mother's share of the ancestral property and bring the two families together? Will she stop her Uncle from wantonly destroying the lives of others, and get a scoop for her newspaper?

Read the book to find out what happens!

Product Details

  • File Size: 442 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Suneeta Misra (December 18, 2012)
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQ8R88I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book took me to a place I have never been (India), which is what is so good about it. The story centers on, Rani, a young female journalist working for a Hindi newspaper. When she is summoned by her wealthy aunt to Rampur to help in her cousin's wedding, Rani acquiesces, placing herself in the middle of a mean dysfunctional family squabble. Headed by the patriarch Vir Singh and his wife Savitri (Rani's aunt) and supported by a cast of backstabbing children, Vijay, Roop, and Anjali, the family is constantly on the verge of a meltdown. Meek, gentle-hearted Durlabh, the stuttering castaway stepson (Vir Singh's son from his first wife) whose marriage to the daughter of a high-ranking government official is being planned, is the only sympathetic member of the family. Immediately, the reader senses that Rani and Durlabh, though different from each other, are kindred in their empathy for the lesser people around them (such as the servants). As the story unfolds, we see the intricate familial relationships and the secret behind the family's ill-gotten wealth begins to unravel. The father's dark past is roto-tilled and brought to surface, including the mysterious demise of Durlabh's mother whose violent death brought about Durlabh's stuttering meekness.

At first, I had a difficult time getting the names right. Between the immediate family and the servants, there was a lot to keep track of. But such is the accepted drawback of reading books set in exotic lands. Anyway, once I got past that, I began to enjoy the story. I loved the prose and descriptions of the Indian countryside like the fields of mustard, wheat, and rice, and the smells of the busy Rampur train station. Indian culture pervades the pages of the book such that I felt I was actually in the pre-wedding ceremony with the smells of the crushed henna leaves and the sounds of drums and bells. More than a mystery, this is a literary novel with a strong plot and depth readers will enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of those stories I loaded on my phone to be read casually when waiting for the train, etc... I ended up gobbling the whole thing down in two sittings. It would have been one sitting, but I got interrupted.
Rani of Rampur is set in India. That alone makes it stand out from so many books out there. But you aren't just reading the story or seeing the story through the author's eyes, you are immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of India. Really vivid imagery. Suneeta Misra also gives you the language of India, in terms of how people converse, expessions, casts. You experience the setting more so than read about it.
The story itself is also fascinating. There are lots of unexpected events that keep you turning the pages. The motivations for characters feel very real and, although the dialog is more formal than it would be if set in America, it also feels legitimate for the setting.
I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a good story in a unfamiliar setting. Plus, you get to learn many of the customs and traditions of India, good or bad. Well done, Suneeta Misra! I will read more books from this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rani of Rampur is an approximately 200-page mystery/drama depicting fictional characters, but heavily weighted in factual aspects of Indian culture and society. I received this book for free in return for providing a non-reciprocal, unbiased review. I am not one for providing detailed summaries in reviews, so I will delve directly into my thoughts (if you do desire a synopsis, one has been provided on the book's Amazon sales page).

I must say that I enjoyed the setting of this book, but I admit I may have some personal bias in that department. I studied Asian history and culture extensively in college, and though my focus was on Japan, one cannot learn certain facets of Japanese history without learning Chinese history, and one cannot experience much of western Chinese history without influence from countries such as India. I haven't immersed myself in such a setting for some time, so this book was welcome in that respect. I won't hold my own shortcomings against the author however, when I further admit that my expertise with names and pronounciation also lies further east than India, so I did have a trivial amount of trouble keeping characters straight in this book (which did not dissuade me from enjoying it).

Rani of Rampur is essentially a young woman's struggle against classic, "bad guy" evil on the cusp of a society in a state of social change. Misra does a commendable job of weaving together both sources of antagonism -- there's murder most foul for Rani to deal with, while at the same time a clashing of progressive versus traditional culture. Despite the length, Misra takes her time weaving a careful plot, as well as developing the main character into somebody I felt I could relate to. I can't stress enough how important something like this is, at least to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I agreed to review this book, I knew it was outside my normal reading list. I've never been to India and don't know all that much about it, and I learned a lot about the society while reading this. From that standpoint alone, it was worthwhile to me but that's not all. As other reviewers have noted, the murder mystery is not the main theme of the book. It happens two-thirds of the way through the story, and the problem for investigators is not finding a suspect but finding too many. The dead man was thoroughly detestable and a lot of people had good reason to hate him.

The real theme of the book is the interaction between the characters. To say the least, this is a very dysfunctional family with many hidden secrets and some skeletons in the closet. It's a good story which keeps you interested.

The first part of the book has more explanatory narration than I like since I prefer for the background details to be revealed gradually. The later part of the book is much better. As an American, I found the dialog to be excessively formal, but that is a comment rather than a criticism since I really don't know how the characters would speak in real life.

Overall, I enjoyed the book which means 4 stars according to Amazon's rating scale.
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