Wednesday 30 November 2022

Book Review - Hyderabad - The Partition Trilogy By Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

Partitions are sad, grieving, nostalgic, and have many tales to tell. Hyderabad, part two of the partition trilogy by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, tells the story of the wealthiest princely state in the world just after India attained independence.

Hyderabad - The Partition Trilogy - Part 2, by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

Book Cover:

The cover is colorful, camouflaging the name partly with the background of chandeliers dangling in a room that seems to give a glimpse of Mughal grandeur.

Hyderabad - The Partition Trilogy by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

The Beginning:

The book takes back to the year 1947 when Hyderabad was the most prosperous princely independent state not willing to accede to India. The state was reeling under communal tension, which gave birth to many different groups secretly working to attain freedom.

The book speaks about the Asaf Jahi dynasty that ruled the princely state of Hyderabad for seven generations. The present ruler, Nawab Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, the Nizam of Hyderabad, was unwilling to compromise his independent sovereignty and personal prestige and denied accession to India as his dynasty has ruled over the wealthiest state for 250 years. Under his rule, Hyderabad saw much development in all sectors and was spoken in the same breath as Mecca and Constantinople in the Islamic world. An old prophecy was also constantly looming over Nizam's mind that said the seventh generation of the Asaf Jahi dynasty would be the last rulers of Hyderabad.

Many Nizam allies supported the dream of an independent Islamic state and devised forceful and agonizing ways to resist favorable agreements with India.

The book parallelly dives into the lives of three women, Princess Niloufer, daughter-in-law to the Nizam, and her caretaker Uzma who witnessed the trauma of peasantry, and Jaabili, a communist recruit secretly fighting for freedom. They all have different struggles and aspirations, which the author has woven beautifully.

The crucial role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and Dickie Mountbatten is worth knowing. There are lot many characters introduced in the book who were somehow part of the freedom struggle of Hyderabad.

Finally, Hyderabad became part of India in September 1948. 

Key Take away:

  • The Book Hyderabad, part two of the Partition trilogy, by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, explains the tussle between volatile Nizam and a resolute India for the most prosperous princely state.

  • The book is divided into 51 chapters, with chapter titles indicating the event's place and year. The author has finely woven the fictitious cast with the history to convey her point well. 

  • The book strongly focuses on the physical and mental trauma that the women had to face at that time. 

  • There is also mention of peasant revolt, The Telangana People's struggle who wanted the end the oppression by the Nizams.

  • The author has very well portrayed the scenic beauty and grandeur of the then Hyderabad City. 

  • The book includes the map of Hyderabad before and after independence to make things easy to relate to and understand.

  • The book also includes the list of characters who were part of the trilogy and their respective designations, which was very helpful in knowing the person's exact role.

Final Thought:

I could connect with the book well because Hyderabad is where I finished my schooling and college. The mention of Osmania University, Tank Bund, Osman Sagar Lake, the famous Irani Chai, and Osmania biscuits took me back to memory lane.

It is definitely not a light read, but the book can impress those who enjoy politics and love reading about history. The author has interwoven the facts and fiction to showcase that partitions are not accessible and there is always a price to be paid, mentally and physically. The author leaves the readers to ponder on a thought-provoking message that partitions are challenging where one attains few things to lose some of them and the loss sometimes keeps haunting us to date.

Lines I loved from the book:

What was destroyed? What prevailed?

How history is lived, and how it is made?

What history is remembered, and what is lost?

The questions dangle in front of us.

'We got what we wanted, but we lost what we had.'

About the Author:

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is an award-winning, bestselling writer of several books. Her work includes the Mehrunisa series, The Long Walk Home, and The Radiance of a Thousand Suns are a few of her critically acclaimed books. The Partition Trilogy is her most recent work, and she calls the book her pandemic baby. Her work has been featured at Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, India, and NYC literary festivals. Her articles are found in The New York Times, the South China Morning Post, and several Indian publications.

Book Details:

Book Name: Hyderabad, part two of the partition trilogy 

Author: Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

Publisher: HarperCollinsIN

Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN: 978-93-5629-113-3

No. Of pages: 305

My Rating:5/5

Do let me know what are your thoughts about books related to historical fiction? Do they do complete justice?

This post is a part of Blogchatter Book Review Program. 

You can read other book reviews on our blog here.


  1. The accession to India was bitterly resisted by the Last Nawab of Hyderabad and Sardar Patel was instrumental in getting them to surrender to India. I am curious to read how the author has narrated the whole situation.

  2. I like to read historical fiction. I feel, when presented in a book format, the writing style plays a major role. Sometimes, its the writers skill to bring the events to life.

  3. I have read a lot of books based on the Nizams time but a take on the women and their psychology and emotions is something that has not been tapped in. Would love to read the book

  4. I liked this book too. Reviewed it too.

  5. The book sounds interesting and promising. Hyderabad is definitely an interesting setting for a story and this is quite a unique storytelling perspective which would be interesting to read.

  6. Being a Hyderabadi ..i was always fascinated to study about hyderabad history..i have tried to attend Younis historical walk.. hyderabad Heritage walk to know more about hyderabad history.this book seems to be more useful..adding it to my list .thank u for sharing about it.

  7. I read this book and just loved the way it was penned and narrated without losing any momentum from start to end.i too rated it 5 on 5

  8. I have read Manreet Sodhi Someshwar's The Taj Conspiracy some years ago and love the way she weaves the stories. Hyderabad - The Partition Trilogy seems like a gripping story, will check it out. Thanks for recommending it.

  9. I like to watch documentaries on history and culture but books on the same topic bore me as they are very slow paced. But this ones seems like a good read, will check it on kindle. thanks for recco

  10. I don't like reading too much historical stuff, but this looks different. In these type of book, the writing style plays a major role and it's very important as well. Looks like this book has everything. Will ready this.

  11. I don't like reading too much historical stuff, but this looks different. In these type of book, the writing style plays a major role and it's very important as well. Looks like this book has everything. Will ready this.


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