"Faint Promise of Rain gives an atmospheric, compassionate look into the hidden world of a temple dancer's family. Anjali Mitter Duva had me spellbound throughout this suspenseful coming of age novel that delivers a rich, satisfying ending." Sujata Massey, author of The Sleeping Dictionary
A compelling story of loss and valor that takes readers on an unexpected journey to the secret world of temple dancers in ancient India.
Shona Patel, author of Teatime for the Firefly
Powerful and beautiful, Anjali Mitter Duva s Faint Promise of Rain deftly balances faith and passion, fear and hope, destiny and will. Duva s expert eye takes us to 16th century India where dance calls forth the divine and unforgettable characters give us memories of things to come. Past, present, and future all overlap in a perfect timeless story.
Marjan Kamali, author of Together Tea
Faint Promise of Rain gives an atmospheric, compassionate look into the hidden world of a temple dancer's family. Anjali Mitter Duva had me spellbound throughout this suspenseful coming of age novel that delivers a rich, satisfying ending.
Sujata Massey, author of The Sleeping Dictionary
Faint Promise of Rain is a gorgeous book, a story that is at once spare and lush, wrenching and restoring. The characters are so fully realized, so keenly nuanced, that they linger with you long after the last page, like the sweet smell of a recent storm.
Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This and Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University
First-time novelist Duva describes the sacred dances so vividly that the reader can almost hear the dancers' feet hitting the floor and the tinkling of ankle bells. Historical fiction readers with an interest in non-Western cultures will find much to treasure in this evocative journey to the Indian desert.
It is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan. On a rare night of rain, a daughter is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as India’s new Mughal Emperor Akbar sets his sights on their home, the fortress city of Jaisalmer, and the other Princely States around it.
Fearing a bleak future, Adhira’s father, the temple’s dance master—against his wife and sons’ protests—puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: he insists that Adhira is destined to “marry” the temple’s deity and to give herself to a wealthy patron. Thus she must live in submission as a woman revered and reviled. But Adhira’s father may not have the last word. Adhira grows into an exquisite dancer, and after one terrible evening she must make a choice—one that will carry her family’s story and their dance to a startling new beginning.