Mark Stephen Levy’s latest novel, American Maharajah, is American only because of its title. Other than the title, this is a well-thought and very well-written novel which represents the Indian sentiment and mixes a little bit of past with a little bit of present.
American Maharajah is the story of Ravi Shankar, an Indo-American living in the USA with his parents. However, his casual trip to India changes the perception of him completely and he is confused about his true parents’ identity. He meets a person in the palace of Bharatambhor, Maharajah Suraj Pershad, who claims to be Ravi’s father and tells Ravi that he is his son who has been dead for some years. Ravi is further sent into confusion when a lady, beautiful and young, claims that Ravi, who she thinks to be Amar, has been betrothed to her very early in the childhood.
Ravi’s confusion further escalates when he sees a photograph of a person just like himself. Ravi, though liking Aishani (the beautiful lady), somehow gets out of the palace to contact his parents but gets only a shocker as he comes to know of his father being hospitalised. He rushes back to the USA and narrates his story to his mom. His confusion is nowhere near solace when he comes to know from his parents that they are not his real parents. And what would he do now? Will he come back to India? Will he come back to the Maharajah? Will he come back for Aishani?
Leaving the wonderful storyline aside, American Maharajah is also the accumulated experience of the author’s frequent travels to India. Mark Levy is a known name among the tourists and also some of the Indians in the tourism hotspots of India. He has done his best in describing the Indian places like Rajasthan, Delhi and others.
The plot of American Maharajah is very well-knit and wide open to consume the story. Mark has tried to link Amar’s probable reincarnation as Ravi to the ancient folklore of Rajasthan, that of a king and his reincarnated prince. After the incident, mentioned in the prologue, the spring stopped appearing in Bharthambhor and people eventually were left dejected and dead.
For the sake of freshness, Mark’s novel is a very good read for the regular readers. Though he does not offer that excitement and thrill you might get in some other novels, his story has a double layer of meanings. You can just enjoy it or you can enjoy the inner meaning which you can interpret as per your conscience.
To get a copy of Mark’s latest novel, click on the Amazon link below:
review by Rohit
American Maharajah - review
A very refreshing and original read – India and Indians through a frequent US traveller’s eyes. You will certainly enjoy this novel!