Victoria's Reviews > The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
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Jun 09, 11

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** spoiler alert ** Spanning the years between 1885 to 1996, Ghosh brought Burma to life for me, as well as parts of India. It begins with the British invasion of Mandalay and the exile of the Burmese royal family to Ratnagari. Characters intertwined in this event, the strong orphan Rajkumar and the beautiful Dolly, carry the story through their lives and through their offspring. All these characters I came to care about without effort. I think the most riveting part of the story came during World War II, when a character named Arjun, an Indian soldier fighting for the British, heard himself being called a mercenary and began to question who and what he was fighting for. The inevitable unraveling of his armor of beliefs and illusions was both admirable and heartbreaking. There were points near the end where I had not realized that I had been holding my breath while reading until I found myself taking gasping and then deep breaths. The bombing of Rangoon and its aftermath. The terrible and difficult treks to find safety. The acts of fear, of courage, of mercy and just pure fatigue that the warring drove people to. These were moments where I found tears stinging my eyes. I was completely immersed. Words are failing me and I can't do justice in describing Ghosh's touching work. All I can say is that I have fallen in love with the author and intend to get my hands on anything else he has written.
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