A new biography of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, written by a non-resident Indian and with a foreword by Mikhail Gorbachev, casts new and intimate light on her life through exclusive interviews with members of the Congress party, political opponents and family friends. The 268-page book, ‘Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny’, is written by NRI Rani Singh, a former senior BBC journalist. It documents the “greatest transformational journey made by any world leader in the last four decades”. “Circumstance and tragedy, rather than ambition, paved her path to power,” the writer says in the book. Born into a traditional, middle-class Italian family, Sonia Gandhi met and fell in love with Rajiv Gandhi, son of the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, while studying English in Cambridge, the book says. “Cruelly tested by the assassinations of her mother-in-law and of her husband, Sonia grew into a strong, authoritative but always private figure,” Singh says. According to Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, “the biography was an insightful portrait of an extraordinary woman and a compelling and important story of tragedy, family and a nation of upward trajectory”. For Tim Marshall, foreign affairs editor Sky News, “the book is a compelling love story woven into the complexities of Indian politics”.