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Beneath a Marble Sky

Narrated by: Mozhan Marno
Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed with grief over the death of his beloved wife, Mumatz Mahal, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism ruthlessly opposing tolerance and coexistence between the disparate peoples in the empire. At that time, Hindustan comprised all of modern Pakistan and Kashmir, most of eastern Afghanistan, and two-thirds of the Indian subcontinent (roughly north of Bombay to the Himalayas). Beneath a Marble Sky, narrated by Princess Jahanara, eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, recounts their story, and her own as well, a parallel tale of forbidden love enduring censure and extreme deprivations. Beneath a Marble Sky brims with action and intrigue befitting an epic era when, alongside continuous war, architecture and its attendant arts reached a pinnacle of perfection. In a splendid debut, John Shors has crafted an immensely listenable and well-researched historical novel of surprisingly contemporary relevance.

©2004 John Shors (P)2012 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Beneath a Marble Sky

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SavvyK
  • SavvyK
  • 29-09-16

Sweeping, though cliché historical tale.

The story was not a "page-turner" and by that I mean I was able to turn it off at any time and wasn't compelled to listen any chance I got. this narrator used strange acting voices that didn't seem appropriate to the time, tone, story or character. Pauses /edits were obvious and not well timed. The audio had skips and repeated sentences.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terri
  • 11-01-14

Fantastic

Would you listen to Beneath a Marble Sky again? Why?

Yes, with the compelling story and the fantastic narration by Mozhan Marno

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jahanara and her struggle through life

Which scene was your favorite?

When Jahanara meets the love of her life while building the TajMahal

If you could rename Beneath a Marble Sky, what would you call it?

Perfect Title would not change a thing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bateman
  • 17-06-20

Not historical fiction, just fiction

Historical fiction should transport the reader to a time and place and creates a desire to learn more about the people and events portrayed in the story. I was hoping Beneath a Marble Sky would do this for me. I've made it to chapter 22 but am done. The thoughts and views of Princess  Jananara are those of a 20th-century American woman, not a 17th-century Hindustani woman.  I prefer stories that are well researched, the events described are historically accurate, and the author attempt to put words into the mouths of the characters which ring true to the actual historical events and characters. John Shors takes far too many liberties here for my taste. If you want a sappy teenage type romance with all the drama and angst of forbidden love set in a bejeweled palace, this is the book for you.  Just don't walk away thinking you know any more history than you knew going in.

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  • Frieda
  • 30-04-20

Beneath a Marble Sky

A very long book!! Had some sad parts in it but I enjoyed it. You could close your eyes and imagine the Taj Mahal being built stone by stone. Whether true or fiction an interesting story.

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  • Nancy R.
  • 04-04-20

Excellent read

Beautiful narration, perfect especially in this story! captivating story, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Highly recommend!

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  • V
  • 27-03-18

One of my favorite books ever

I’ve adored this book for a long time and experiencing it as an audio book with Mozhan narrating it was just lovely.

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Profile Image for Trooston
  • Trooston
  • 27-06-17

Okay book, not as great as I hoped

The author did a great job with female voices but her male voice was a bit off for me. A bit heavy on violence and sex for my liking but the possible history of the taj mahal was what I wanted. It did peak my curiosity to look further into the history of modern wonder of the world.

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  • NewSouthernBelle
  • 18-09-15

Loved it! Will Listen Again

I learned about this book several years ago from a friend who loved it and had been wanting to "read" it but it was only released as an audio book 2 years ago and apparently I had stopped checking for it until recently. As soon as I saw it, I purchased it and started listening to it almost immediately. It is a lovely story that keeps you very much engaged. There are so many great relationships - mother/daughter, father/daughter, true love, siblings, best friends. And the language is beautiful too. I wish I had a hard copy of this book just so I could copy down some of the great lines from it. ("I think the glow of motherhood made her beauty brighten." "Somehow even as he died, it was he who soothed me.") I will most definitely listen to it again. Just writing the review makes me excited to do so and I only finished it a week ago!

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  • Summer Layne
  • 15-05-18

Lackluster Narration Ruins The Experience

The narration is wooden and monotonous, read in a flat American accent which does nothing to enhance the subject. Beyond this, It lacks modulation and, if one listened without understanding the words, there would be no indication of the emotions, actions, or interactions conveyed by the narrator's performance. To make matters worse, the pauses between sentences are consistently a beat too long, which eventually become as unbearable as nails on a chalkboard. Cannot really provide an accurate rating for the story, since I stopped listening after a few irritating chapters.

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  • Sue
  • 21-04-15

Not "historical" fiction

This book is so aggressively inaccurate it is only annoying. With few exceptions, the only parts of the book that are factually correct are the names. The real story is so interesting, the author had an opportunity to write a fabulous historical fiction. Why do readers accept this kind of nonsense? It is a waste of time.