The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace

Book - 2001
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Rajkumar is a young orphan helping out in a market stall in the dusty square outside the royal palace in Mandalay, when the British force the Burmese King, Queen and court into exile. Haunted by his vision of the Royal Family and one of their attendants, he travels to the obscure town where they have been exiled, and his family and friends become inexorably linked with theirs.

From this humble beginning, an extraordinary story of a century unfolds: in Malaya, amid the vast rubber plantations; in India, amid growing nationalistic fervor; in America, where ideals of democracy, terrorist skills and business acumen could all be learned. By the time World War II arrives, Rajkumar's influence will have spread from the great estate at Morningside and he will see his son become involved in the British collapse in Singapore, and another member of his family take part in the remarkable rebellion of the Indian troops against their British officers.

Many more fascinating stories unfold in the pages of The Glass Palace . There is the formidable Indian widow, Uma, a spearhead of the Indian nationalist movement and a final refuge for the battered remnants of the family as they flee from Burma before the Japanese advance. And there is Rajkumar's granddaughter, who survives the experience and brings readers back to Burma, completing the family saga started so long ago.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2001
ISBN: 9780140299243
Branch Call Number: GHOS
Characteristics: 474 pages : map


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Dec 22, 2016

Feels like it could have, maybe should have been 2 books. Covers a lot of distance and time and characters and, while I enjoyed it immensely, I felt myself getting lost in the modern day parts with trying to keep up with who's kids were who's and such. Not a lot of happiness, but still a very good read.

Mar 02, 2015

Here is a wealth of character, incident, and place still awaiting an interpreter. The tale wants to grow and expand, but, alas, Ghosh keeps it in a box.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

A novel for readers who like their stories big, bold and full of history, politics and of course love. Set in Burma and India, ranging from WWII to the present day, this is a family saga that should appeal to anyone who enjoyed The Jewel in the Crown or A Passage to India.

Mar 24, 2013

This book was just beautiful. The imagery, the language, the characters, they all came together to paint a very realistic picture of Southeast Asia in the 1900s. More than anything, I felt content to read this book slowly and savor each step of the journey, and when the end came, everything fell into place as it should. I don't think I'll be picking up another book for a while because of the impact this novel has left in me. The topics Ghosh breaches are heavy and controversial, but throughout the novel there was a sense that though there may never be peace in this world, a certain kind of internal calm can be found within oneself.

Jun 01, 2012

I read this in high school. As a teen, I felt that it was a difficult read. Not only is the text dense and much of the action highly detailed, but the majority of plot events have negative consequences for the characters. Character development takes place as the characters struggle to cope with or escape profound and repeated loss, often by traveling across Burma. The writing and imagery is beautiful, but the story is tragic. Although a satisfying and thrilling read peppered with memorably spooky tales, I had to put it down several times and take breaks because it drained my emotion and left me with a profound sense of fatigue and sadness.

Mar 04, 2011

A little bit slow to start but once it gets going, so good. Beautiful writing. I loved the characters.

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