The Maharani and her husband's father, the Maharajah of Kapurthala
The Maharani, born as Princess Brinda, was betrothed at the age of seven to the nine-year old Crown Prince of Kapurthala although it would be many years until the marriage took place. Maharani is a brilliant study of contrasts – the luxuries of India at its most glamorous – weddings, state receptions, tiger hunts, elaborate parties – and reminiscences of her travels throughout the world. It is an intimate picture of a princess’ life, of the responsibilities facing royalty, along with personal grief and how she had the courage to resolve them.
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE: "Thoroughly enjoyable and never dull. Brinda comes to life on each page in a manner seldom found in a story of a contemporary being. Ms. Williams has retained in every chapter a wealth of the maharani's charm and personality."
THE KIRKUS BULLETIN: "A moving and muted account of a life in a transitional generation where East and West met...Touching and strange, this memoir gives fine glimses into the Hindu culture, of worlds apart moving together, not without grief."
THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE: "We are permitted to watch a spoiled and sheltered little Indian princess grow into a suffering woman of character with a strong feeling of responsibility for her subjects. Elaine Williams deserves great credit for having woven all into an intersting book."
SEEKING THE TAJ, A Tale Of Love and Awakening in a Far Country was published in the U.S. and India
In Seeking The Taj, Elaine Williams evokes a spirited young woman’s immersion into the mysterious society of deposed Indian royals where crumbling palaces hold dark secrets and treachery abounds. Set in 1969, when hippies, soul seekers and “The Beatles” swarmed into India, Garnet, a young poet with a painful past, is traveling in India to write about the empress who inspired the Taj Mahal. Burdened on the trip by the brilliant, half-mad Niles, at the Taj Mahal she encounters Ravi Singh, an exuberant, charismatic prince descended from a dynasty of eccentric royals. Ravi pursues her and although she is deeply drawn to the prince, the near tragic assault she endured as an adolescent left her fearful of romantic entanglements. But in Agra she is befriended by Ravi’s royal auntie, a wise and worldly woman who seized her freedom in a repressive society and has much to teach Garnet.
THE STATESMAN: India's oldest newspaper, reviewed it in their Sunday edition, "Seeking The Taj is a very sensual story with a dream-like quality. All the characters are well-etched and leave a lasting impression. And whether it be the description of the Taj Mahal, the opulence of Sushila's house, the once magnifent Gajpur palace or even dawn 'as the darkness of the long night negan to lift, a scrawl of vermilion scribbled its way across the black sky,' Williams displays a poetic touch in the rich imagery with which her novel abounds."
"Elaine Williams writes with grace and precision, and a deep understanding of India's ancient culture, Her novel "Seeking The Taj" is a beautifully written story, very sensual with a dreamlike feel to it. A haunting story, with beautiful imagery, the rich echoes of history and the fairy tale ending."
(Richard Moore, acclaimed poet, Pulitzer Prize Nominee)