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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just how my mother told it!, 24 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj (Hardcover)
I bought this book for obvious reasons - my mother (born Ooticamund 1908, living in Ceylon with her family in the mid 20's, met & married my father who visited in an RN Warship) was one of the kind of people written about. Her own mother's family went back at least two generations in India and all met and married similar families out there. Obviously, with quite a lot of background, I found it riveting, loved the pictures and thought the style elegant and informed. I wasn't concerned about the piecemeal nature of the memoirs, and thought them well marshalled and edited.

I only forebore from giving it 5 stars because I can hear my mother's snort from beyond the grave. She was very precise about the "Fishing Fleet"; they were girls who were sent out to India from England to Indian based relatives to find a husband. As distinct from "country-born" girls, who may (by my mother's, but not in her mother's time) be sent back to England to be educated, and who then returned to live with their families. The author seemed to use the epithet for all who met and married in India, including girls from Indian based families.

It also delightfully emphasised the tremendous importance of brothers in this whole operation - my mother often told me how important it was that her brother was there to introduce her to brother officers and chaperone her.

We used to laugh that my parents were reverse fishing fleet - she lived there and my father sailed out and met her in India, although they were married in England and she never lived in India or Ceylon again after her marriage to a Naval Officer. Undoubtedly a partial review, but I loved it and will look out Anne de Courcy's other books (some of which I have heard of, but not yet read).
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2013 18:57:37 BDT
Bethi says:
Thanks for an interesting review.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2013 19:10:11 BDT
I agreed with your review of PLF and also your opinion of the wretched Bloomserries, V Woolf a nasty spiteful woman and the worst sort of snob. I think,respectfully!, that you should stop reading books and start writing them, about your own family perhaps. If there was ever a born writer it is Margaret Mac.
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