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Member Reviews

Thank you to Harper Collins for the Advanced Reader's Copy

Poignant and heart breaking, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar's The Radiance of a Thousand Suns unearths the hidden violence of the Indian Partition War and the subsequent anti-Sikh movement. Mixing in centuries old Mahabharata, decades old women's history and modern day New York, Someshwar creates a spell binding tale. From the domestic to the global stage, women are always subject to the threat of violence and rarely is it told in such a clear voiced manner. 

As a South Asian, I appreciated this book as it brought to light aspects of my history that I didn't know about. When we talk about Partition, we talk about all the male freedom fighters. And yet, it is women who bear the brunt of war crimes. Women who are raped and shamed and beaten and abandoned. Women who hide in the shadows, waiting to exhale and tell their stories. Women like the powerful and complicated Jyoti Kaur, the mysterious figurehead Niki seeks out in the streets of New York. A gorgeous and powerful read.
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This is a book primarily told from the perspective of Niki who bridges the stories of various people joined by the twin tragedies of partition in 1947 and the anti-sikh riots in 1984. 

The book is beautifully written and brings alive the atrocities faced by women (the largest minority group in the world) throughout history. While 1947 and 1984 are used as time markers, the atrocities don't abate after 9/11 but just take a different form. 

I loved the book though I felt that it slacks in the 3rd part once Niki arrives in NY. There are characters (friend from yoga studio) and vignettes (a samba class) that come and go without adding to the character or the story. Not sure if the lost-and-found manuscript ( a plot point) makes any difference to how the story progressed. The 3rd part could have used some editing as it felt that there were instances written just to fill up the pages. 

Overall, I liked the work and would seek other works from the author.
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The author's ability to write such a beautiful book that captures violent periods in history and of the sacrifices made.  I love how the author wrote about the journeys of the women.
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