Rajkumar is a young orphan helping out in a market stall in the
dusty square outside the royal palace in Mandalay, when the British
force the Burmese King, Queen and court into exile. Haunted by his
vision of the Royal Family and one of their attendants, he travels
to the obscure town where they have been exiled, and his family and
friends become inexorably linked with theirs.
From this humble beginning, an extraordinary story of a century
unfolds: in Malaya, amid the vast rubber plantations; in India,
amid growing nationalistic fervor; in America, where ideals of
democracy, terrorist skills and business acumen could all be
learned. By the time World War II arrives, Rajkumar''s influence
will have spread from the great estate at Morningside and he will
see his son become involved in the British collapse in Singapore,
and another member of his family take part in the remarkable
rebellion of the Indian troops against their British officers.
Many more fascinating stories unfold in the pages of The
Glass Palace. There is the formidable Indian widow, Uma, a
spearhead of the Indian nationalist movement and a final refuge for
the battered remnants of the family as they flee from Burma before
the Japanese advance. And there is Rajkumar''s granddaughter, who
survives the experience and brings readers back to Burma,
completing the family saga started so long ago.