Summary and book reviews of The Seduction of Silence by Bem Le Hunte

The Seduction of Silence

by Bem Le Hunte

The Seduction of Silence
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2003, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2004, 416 pages

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Book Summary

Both magical and utterly compelling, this spellbinding novel interweaves family sagas with the richness of Indian mysticism, creating an intimate portrait of an unforgettable family.

Infused with the magic of India and the great mysteries of life, The Seduction of Silence follows the spiritual and emotional journeys of a remarkable Indian family through five generations.

Aakash, venerated sage and healer, is the founder of Prakriti -- an abundant farm in the Himalayas. From this soulful mountain home, his children embark on the journeys that will sway the destinies of future generations: gentle son Ram, whose fierce search for enlightenment will force him to choose between his family and his soul; daughter Tulsi Devi, whose convent schooling provides an unexpected, brutal education forever altering her life; Tulsi Devi's beloved first child, Jivan -- born in the waters of the Ganges, cruelly separated from his mother; and Aakash's granddaughter Rohini, who travels across the world on a painted bus to a new land and a new kind of freedom, immersing herself in the London of the 1960s.

With Rohini's daughter, Saakshi, the search for enlightenment comes full circle, and the great-granddaughter returns to her spiritual home -- the holy mountains of Prakriti, where their family story first began. Both magical and utterly compelling, this spellbinding novel interweaves family sagas with the richness of Indian mysticism, creating an intimate portrait of an unforgettable family.

Chapter 1

Of all mountains, the Himalayas are the highest. They sit like a prayer table on the plains. The soil is closer to the Gods, the air purer, the mind clearer. There's a potency in the earth here - a quality of the Divine in everything that takes life.

It was in the Himalayas, in the holy mountains of Himachal Pradesh, that Aakash chose to throw his first seeds into the earth on some land that had arrived in his care through Divine Grace.

Many years earlier, when he was a boy, he had won this piece of land at a game of cricket in Chail. Not by winning the game, but by laying his hands on an injured hemophiliac boy and curing him of hemophilia altogether. An act of no consequence if the boy had not been the captain of the cricket team, and, more importantly, the son of the Maharaja of Patiala.

Years later, when Aakash went up into the hills as a man, he was mesmerized by the beauty of this God-sent land. Awestruck by the Silence as he walked the mountaintops ...

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Introduction

The Seduction of Silence is a richly woven epic set over five generations in an Indian family. From the Spiritual Church of Great Britain to the breathtaking Himalayas, this book takes readers on an enchanting journey that explores spirituality, birth, death, love and hope. Unforgettable characters float across the pages of this book, human and fully sentient. Eunuchs, aghoris, sages, soldiers and nuns add their magic, their stories and their images to the grand scope of this debut novel.
Meet Aakash, venerated sage and healer in the Himalayas, and founder of Prakriti, an abundant ayurvedic farm. While Aakash is a beloved leader, his unyielding wife Jyoti Ma is the fierce presence at Prakriti whose stubbornness eventually ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Washington Post

A lovely… ambitious novel …Le Hunte threads events together with a confident, steady hand.

Booklist - Deborah Donovan

India-born Le Hunte concocts a glorious melange of family saga, social commentary, and treatise on spirituality in her debut novel.

Publisher's Weekly

The magic realist touches scattered throughout the novel have won Le Hunte comparisons to Isabel Allende and Salman Rushdie, but Le Hunte has a snappy, more commercial style (when Rohini tells her pregnant daughter to stop complaining, the acid-tongued daughter thinks, Thanks, Mama. Can you remember to tell me your worst birth stories just before I go into labor? We'll put some time aside, OK?)

Kirkus Reviews

A splendidly conceived saga weaving the history of an entire culture into the portrait of one family vivid, compelling, utterly fascinating.

The Booklover (Australia)

A brilliant new voice on the Australian scene... Le Hunte weaves a spell over her readers.

Author Blurb Geraldine Brooks, author of Year of Wonders and Nine Parts of Desire
There is real enchantment here...[in] prose as vivid and arresting as a marigold. I couldn’t put it down.

Author Blurb Lalita Tademy, author of Oprah Book Club selection Cane River
An unexpected delight... [Le Hunte] gives new meaning to the search for spiritual fulfillment.

Author Blurb Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List
A work of persuasive imagination...such scope, power and narrative charm...ample and fascinating.

Reader Reviews

Firefighterlady

I finished this book early this morning. I read the entire book in less than 2 days -- quite an accomplishment for me!! I was hooked on the book even before I finished the Prologue. I have always had a fascination with the Hindu/Indian culture and...   Read More

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