Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire
Those fascinated by the turbulent history of India’s transition from colony to commonwealth and then independent nation will find much to ponder in this scrupulously researched, well-written work of non-fiction. Von Tunzelmann’s approach is to go deeply into the personal and political histories of the independent players: Gandhi, Jinna, Nehru, and most of all, Edwina and Dickie Mountbatten.
With a refreshing focus on the real contributions of Edwina Mountbatten, who fearlessly entered the most dangerous regions in her efforts to ensure relief to the wounded and starving, Indian Summer serves as a balance to several previous works that have lionized her husband, overlooking his failings and concentrating on his achievements.
But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this book is von Tunzelmann’s ability to examine without sensationalism the personal relationship of Edwina and Nehru, and its place in the Mountbattens’ bizarre, open marriage. Highly recommended.