I initially bought this book after attending a session by the author at Jaipur Literature Festival last year. I was very intrigued about the main character in this book.
It’s a non fiction account trying to demystify this Mr. Jacob who was mainly a diamond merchant in the pre Independence period.
The book has a very distinct storytelling method from what I’m (usually) used to. It has its moments of facts and it’s moments of narration. Mr. Jacob himself is very interesting mainly because of his connections and the things he was involved in. Everyone likes a spy story, right? His connections with the Nizams and heads of other princely states also gives you insight into their (lavish) lives.
I don’t want to give out the plot but the character is someone who pulls strings from the shadows and someone you never think off. It’s an enjoyable read but not as gripping as I hoped it would be.
We’ve learned so much about the British Raj in our history, this gives a different day to day side of it and also some rather shocking moments. It’s something you will enjoy reading if you like this genre although if you are starting out, I’d suggest William Dalrymple.