Read Beside a Burning Sea Online

Authors: John Shors

Tags: #Solomon Islands, #Fiction, #Romance, #War & Military, #shipwrecks, #1939-1945 - Pacific Area, #American Contemporary Fiction - Individual Authors +, #United States - Hospital ships, #Historical - General, #Pacific Area, #1939-1945, #Soldiers - Japan, #Historical, #Soldiers, #World War, #Survival after airplane accidents, #Fiction - Historical, #Nurses, #General, #etc, #Japan, #etc., #Love stories

Beside a Burning Sea

BOOK: Beside a Burning Sea
8.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Praise for
Beneath a Marble Sky

“[A] spirited debut novel. . . .With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors gives a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life.”

Publishers Weekly

“Jahanara is a beguiling heroine whom readers will come to love; none of today’s chick-lit heroines can match her dignity, fortitude, and cunning. . . . Elegant, often lyrical writing distinguishes this literary fiction from the genre known as historical romance. It is truly a work of art, rare in a debut novel.”—
The Des Moines Register

“Agreeably colorful . . . [with] lively period detail and a surfeit of villains.”

Kirkus Reviews

“An exceptional work of fiction . . . a gripping account.”—
India Post

“Highly recommended . . . a thrilling tale [that] will appeal to a wide audience.”—
Library Journal

“Evocative of the fantastical stories and sensual descriptions of
One Thousand and One Nights, Beneath a Marble Sky
is the story of Jahanara, the daughter of the seventeenth-century Mughal emperor who built India’s Taj Mahal. What sets this novel apart is its description of Muslim-Hindu politics, which continue to plague the subcontinent today.”

National Geographic Traveler

“A passionate, lush, and dramatic novel, rich with a sense of place. John Shors is an author of sweeping imaginative force.”

—Sandra Gulland, author of the Josephine B. Trilogy

“[A] story of romance and passion . . . a wonderful book if you want to escape to a foreign land while relaxing in your porch swing.”

St. Petersburg Times

“It is difficult to effectively bring the twenty-first-century reader into a seventeenth-century world. Shors accomplishes this nicely, taking the armchair traveler into some of the intricacies involved in creating a monument that remains one of the architectural and artistic wonders of the world.”—
The Denver Post

“A majestic novel that irresistibly draws the reader within its saga of human struggles, failings, alliances, and betrayals.”—
Midwest Book Review

“The author has obviously done in-depth research of the Taj Mahal and its history. In addition to his fascinating storyline, he weaves in many details about the planning and building of this unique architectural masterpiece. From the exquisite white marble brought in from the quarries of Makrana to the gold and precious gemstones decorating it, Shors enables his readers to visualize the profound wonder of it all. He also depicts the political climate in a clear and concise manner so that readers can better understand the Mogul empire that reigned supreme during this period of India’s history. I can highly recommend this novel, a real page-turner throughout.”—
The Historical Novels Review

“[Shors] writes compellingly [and] does a lovely job of bringing an era to life . . . an author to anticipate.”—
Omaha World-Herald

“A sumptuous feast of emotional imagery awaits the reader of
Beneath a Marble Sky,
an unabashedly romantic novel set in seventeenth-century Hindustan, inside the warm sandstone of its Mughal palaces.”


“This sweeping love story takes place in seventeenth-century Hindustan during the building of the Taj Mahal. Princess Jahanara, the emperor’s daughter, tells her parents’ saga and shares her own story of forbidden love with the architect of the legendary building.”—
St. Paul Pioneer Press

“This novel skillfully delves into Eastern aristocracy, culture, and religion. The story is told in titanic fashion by Jahanara, the eldest daughter of the emperor who built the Taj Mahal. . . . Shors enthralls with his first novel, based on an age-old Asian love story. Those familiar with Ken Follett’s
The Pillars of the Earth
will find strong correlations between the novels. This is a page-turner.”—
Romantic Times

“Shors . . . creates a vivid and striking world that feels as close as a plane ride. Most important, he manages to convey universal feelings in a tangible and intimate way. Shah Jahan’s grief isn’t just that of a man who lived centuries ago; it’s a well of emotion felt long before Mumtaz Mahal ever lived, and is still felt today. Shors’s ability to tap into that well, and make it so alive, renders the novel as luminous a jewel as any that adorn the Taj Mahal’s walls.”—
ForeWord Magazine

“An absorbing novel about the extremes of passion—with much relevance for our own time.”—
Rocky Mountain News


Beneath a Marble Sky

New American Library
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
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New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, September 2008

Copyright © John Shors, 2008

Readers Guide copyright © Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2008
All rights reserved


Shors, John, 1969-
Beside a burning sea / John Shors.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-0-451-22492-7

1. World War, 1939-1945—Pacific Area—Fiction. 2. United States. Navy—Hospital ships—Fiction.
3. Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc.—Fiction. 4. Soldiers—Japan—Fiction. 5. Nurses—
Fiction. 6. Solomon Islands—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3619.H668B47 2008
813’.6—dc22 2008009398

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

For my family—

Allison, thank you for the gift of always believing.
I love you.

Sophie and Jack, nothing else compares.

Through the misery of war, love is lost and love is found.
Like all things of green and flesh,
Love dies when republics collide.
Yet amid the wreckage of minds and memories,
Love can quickly emerge,
As if a fresh rain that tries to wipe clean a field of battle.


BOOK: Beside a Burning Sea
8.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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