On the morning of 31 October 1984, as she walked through her garden, smiling, hands raised and palms pressed together in the traditional Indian greeting, Indira Nehru Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards. She died as she had lived, surrounded by men, yet isolated. It was a violent end to a life of epic drama.
Brought up during an era which saw the rise of Indian nationalism, she was raised to be what her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, called "a child of revolution" - strong in body and mind, destined to play a political role in the creation and governing of an independent India. Despite her early reluctance to embrace this role, and despite, too, ill-health and a shy, self-contained personality, Indira would become one of history's most powerful and significant leaders, presiding over a huge, complex, religiously-riven and male-dominated country.
Indira was India. Throughout childhood, love, marriage, imprisonment, motherhood and a sequence of personal and family tragedies, her personal hopes and desires would be continually subsumed by the historical and political imperatives of her country.
In this beautifully written and engaging biography, Katherine Frank explores the personal and political fate of the leader of the world's largest democracy - a woman who played a dominant role in the history of the twentieth century, and when it ended, was voted Woman of the Millennium.