Summary: The Last Queen tells the tale of the courageous Rani Jindan, the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who later goes on to become the Regent of the Sikh Empire. The book humanizes her larger than life character, and portrays her struggles in a way that we can relate to, while we appreciate the momentous tasks she had to undertake to preserve her Empire. Her story is compelling and hard to ignore, and Chitra Banerjee ensures that in this fascinating novel.
Our Take: Rani Jindan is renowned for her courage and strong willed character, yet the book creates the journey that shows how she truly become the powerful woman she was, as she navigated through her struggles. What we loved about the book was it’s honest depiction. She has her own faults, but her resilience to go on, her loyalty to her kingdom, and to her ideals, make her truly admirable. Although the depth of her character is missing at some points, her internal struggles have been remarkably captured and poignantly worded.
An exquisite love story of a king and a commoner, a cautionary tale about loyalty and betrayal, a powerful parable of the indestructible bond between mother and child, and an inspiration for our times, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novel brings alive one of the most fearless women of the nineteenth century, one whose story cries out to be told.
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