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The Peacock Spring Paperback – Unabridged, 17 Sep 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Paperback, Unabridged, 17 Sep 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (17 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330323687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330323680
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 904,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'One of the finest English novelists' Orville Prescott"

Book Description

Not a usual marker, but a feather, a tip feather from a peacock’s train, lucently blue and green . . . --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
this is one of the most beautiful, memorable books I have ever read. It is very evocative of the colours of India, and is a stunning (though short) summer holiday read...
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The two daughters of diplomat Sir Edward are abruptly removed from their English boarding school to join him in India. There they find a Eurasian governess Alix waiting for them. Is she more than just governess? One of the daughters, Una, is 15 and finds the Indian under-gardener Ravi fascinating. There is an undercurrent of caste and class distinction in the household, the gulf between the diplomats and the Indian servants is huge, and Alix has a foot in both worlds. Rumer Godden slowly builds up the tension until it becomes an explosive mixture.
I found this novel to be magnificently written and very hard to put down. As Rumer spent many years in India she writes with absolute authority and all the characters are convincing. Her style is deceptively easy but in a few well-constructed lines of prose she can create India with all its sounds and smells in your minds eye. She plays with the reader, sometimes you dislike Alix, sometimes you sympathize with her. It tackles some tough subjects and really tightens up the tension towards the end.
In short, a magnificent novel and a masterpiece that deserves to be better known.
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Format: Paperback
Although an old-fashioned story set in old-fashioned British India, Rumer Godden's insights into teenage realities and fantasies and the cross-overs between the two are vividly brought into focus with her inimitable and stylised authorial skill. Although written later in her life - after years of lving back in Britain, her ability to create in words the sensuality, heat, intensity, of an Indian atmosphere has never faltered. Ideal for girls between 12 and 18, this book can be enjoyed happily by readers much older, evoking frail memories of the inevitable pain of youthful romantic mistakes that seem so utterly meaningful at the time, and so appalling to the older generation. Of course, the book is much more than this. As always with Rumer Godden, the superficial simplicity of the story belies an underlying layer of the conflicts and contrasts in morality, tradition, culture, and attitude, between the Briton and the Indian.
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By A Customer on 20 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
I am drawn to Rumer Godden's books because she writes of India so beautifully. Her descriptions are evocative and true. However, I came away unsatisfied from this book. Some characters, including Alix, the governess did not make sense or seem real to me. Also I found the ending unsatisfactory.
Even so, I give 'The Peacock Spring' three stars because it held me engrossed for a day until I had finished it, and because it reminded me of when I was fourteen and in love for the first time - that sense of 'us against the world' and of being more mature than adults realise.
The author's new preface (in the 1992 edition) told too much about what was to come, so I would recommend NOT reading it until one has finished the book. Perhaps it would have been better published as an addendum.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intriguing story of family & interpersonal relationships set vividly in India . The wonderful descriptions of Indian flora & landscape underlines the characteristics of the indigenous people portrayed in the book, whilst cleverly contrasting the behaviour & perceptions of the ex-pat. characters. Rumer Goddens understanding of family dynamics coupled with her empathy for Alix, the Eurasian companion/governess is presented to the reader with sensitivity & skill. Her gift for telling a good story makes this book one to read& re-read.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book, I haven't read any other Rumer Godden novels, but that will change. This a beautiful engrosing novel set in India. While telling the story of Una and Hal - daughters of Sir Edward Gwithiam, who are suddenly asked to leave their Englsih school and return to India - Rumer Godden has also contrasted the India seen by the families of diplomats to that of the India expierenced by ordinary Indians. Una's story is a hard one - her battle with Alix (her "governess" ) - her father's blindness at what is happening in his house, her relationship with Ravi - a second gardener in her father's grounds. You can't help but feel for Una - we have all been fifteen after all. I must say that although I sympathised with Una, I didn't like her any more than Alix to start with, but I warmed to her as the novel progressed.
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I bought this because the rest of my book club were reading The Greengage Summer, one of my all time favouritess. However I didn't like this one nearly as much. The preface completely spoiled the plot - why wasn't it published as an afterword. I found the plot rather unbelievable - not enough introduction to the relationship between the two main characters before they are flung in at the deep end.
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Format: Paperback
This story finished too soon for my liking - it was a wonderful, emotional and captivating story which I wanted to continue. It included political, romantic and cultural themes which all lead to an amazing read. I haven't put the book away since I first read it.
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