Breakfast with the Nikolides by Rumer Godden

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This is a heart-wrenchingly truthful evocation of the transition from child to adult, combined with Godden's pitch-perfect descriptions of the sights, smells and sounds of expatriate India.
-Guardian

Synopsis

For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems . . .
 

About Rumer Godden

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Margaret Rumer Godden was born Dec. 10, 1907, in Sussex, England. She was nine months old when her family moved to India, where her father ran a shipping line. She returned to London at age 20 to learn how to teach dance to children, and opened a school back in India. Returning to England while she was pregnant, she wrote her first book, "Chinese Puzzle," published in 1936. Her marriage to a stockbroker, Laurence Sinclair Foster, ended in 1941, leaving her penniless. In an effort to pay off her former husband's debts, Godden moved her family into a mountain cottage where she ran a school, made herbal teas for sale, and wrote books. Another novel of India, "The River," published in 1949, was one of her most acclaimed books and was made into a film by Jean Renoir in 1951. She returned to England to stay in 1945. Rumer Godden was the author of more than 60 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry, plays and non-fiction. She published her 21st novel, "Cromartie vs. the God Shiva," in 1997. Rumer Godden died a year later on November 8, 1998, in Thornhill, Scotland, at the age of 90.
 
Published July 8, 2013 by Virago Press. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by LUCY SCHOLES on Mar 17 2013

This is a heart-wrenchingly truthful evocation of the transition from child to adult, combined with Godden's pitch-perfect descriptions of the sights, smells and sounds of expatriate India.

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