The Holder of the World Author:Bharati Mukherjee Beigh Masters, a young American woman and 20th-century 'answer-hunter', has become intrigued by 'the Salem Bibi', the path of whose miraculous life started in the strict Puritanism of 17th-century New England and ended in the opulent court of the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. When Beigh discovers a bequest in a small maritime museum, the story of Ha... more »nnah Easton reaches into her own world and comes to life, with an astonishing vision of cultures colliding in the Old World's first rapacious expansion.
Abandoned as a child, Hannah grows up in Salem, sewing vibrant scenes as she imagines unseen horizons; later her skill enables her to patch the living. A dashing seaman woos her and carries her off, first to London and then with the East India Company to the Coromandel coast. India wraps Hannah in its spell, and she disappears into its densely woven fabric and into a new life.
With a scintillating assessment of the standards of another time, Bharati Mukherjee has recreated a life which embodies an era of electrifying turmoil. She echoes themes from Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, dovetailing traditional storytelling magic, virtual-reality novel and metaphor for our times into the compellingly original tale of an American woman and her rebellion at the meeting-place of opposite cultures.« less
This book is amazing. It takes a lot of suspension of reality to get through because the first part assumes that time-travel is scientifically possible. However, that doesn't last long and if you can get through it (I'm not a big sci-fi person, so it was hard for me) the actual historical part is amazing. It not only focuses greatly on the role of women in the colonial time period, but it also focuses on the hypocrisy on colonization and the power that women still had despite their disadvantage of sex. Also interesting is the fear that the white colonizers had of their whitge women being lured away by the "black" native and tainting her.