Faint Promise of Rain
Anjali Mitter Duva
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan. On a rare night of rain, a daughter is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as India’s new Mughal Emperor Akbar sets his sights on their home, the fortress city of Jaisalmer, and the other Princely States around it.
Fearing a bleak future, Adhira’s father, the temple’s dance master—against his wife and sons’ protests—puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: he insists that Adhira is destined to “marry” the temple’s deity and to give herself to a wealthy patron. Thus she must live in submission as a woman revered and reviled. But Adhira’s father may not have the last word. Adhira grows into an exquisite dancer, and after one terrible evening she must make a choice—one that will carry her family’s story and their dance to a startling new beginning.
Faint Promise of Rain
From the first pages, the reader is transported back in time to a changing world - 16th century India. Though the history may be unfamiliar to many, the novel is so filled with sensory images that we cannot help but be swept up in it - our nostrils flare with the scents of the spice market; our skin tingles as we fill the drops of the first rain in months; our mouths taste the dust and heat of the desert; and we dance along with Adhira as she and her family navigate the complex and changing physical and emotional landscape. Truly a fascinating read; both heartbreaking and uplifting; gripping from beginning to end.
Get ready to be transported to 16th century India. A beautifully written, immersive debut. Looking forward to more from this author!
Wonderful Debut novel
What a wonderful first novel. I was able to transport myself to ancient India & imagine the scenes- the architecture, the dancing, the feel of the hot dry air. So many themes run through the novel & most apply to modern times: wanting the best for our children, wanting to please our families, wanting to change outdated rituals. I wished for more focus on Hari Dev as his character was so compelling. The narrator's voice changes from character to character & his voice felt almost like the main protagonist. Hari Dev shared the spotlight with his sister, Adhira.