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The Splendor of Silence: Book Review
[Lifestyle-December 2008]

Some books are hard to put down but unfortunately the same cannot be said for The Splendor of Silence. This book is actually hard to finish reading! It is a bit long and some parts are rather confusing. Now personally, I have always been a huge fan of Indu Sundaresan and I love her first two books, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses but The Splendor of Silence does not compare. It addresses some topics that are unacceptable. At first it seems like it will be interesting; almost a mystery when the story begins with Olivia who receives a trunk full of trinkets and letters.

The story transforms back to 1942 during British Raj in Rudrakot, India where Olivia’s mother Mila lived and her encounter with Sam. Sam is an American who was fighting in Burma but has come to India in search of his brother Mike. Mila is to wed Jai but she betrays him. The book becomes rather vulgar at this point and addresses some rather disgusting topics that are unacceptable.

The answers to Oliva questions unfold in the letters which reveal to her about her mother and father. The ending reveals that Jai has written to Olivia and sent her the trunk with the letters Sam wrote to Mila. But why didn’t Mila recieve or respond to any of them? Because they were intercepted by Jai…Jai who was married to Mila. Mila turns out to be a very promiscuous woman who loses her value and betrays her culture and husband to be for a lowly affair with a white man! She is a disgrace.

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