TWO UNDER THE INDIAN SUN by Jon & Rumer Godden


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In 1914, Jon and Rumer Godden were very little girls, living a drearily straightlaced existence in the London home of their unmarried Godden aunts. Then the threat of the zeppelins abruptly terminated their London year; and they returned to Fa and Mam and the rest of the family in the village of Narayangunj in East Bengal, where Fa was a steamer agent. They now recall the childhood years spent there not as an exercise in autobiography but one of evocation of a time that is gone, for them and there was an Eurasian Nana replaced by the staid Hannah in the nursery; there were many servants presided over by the imperturbable Azad Ali; there was the gatekeeper, Guru, who shared in their games until a tragic love affair that ended in murder darkened their lives. There was the bazaar, and the river; Diwali with its lights and Christmas with its ceremonials of giving and receiving. There were ponies, dutifully mounted daily, and elephants, private games of make-believe, and later painting and writing. And finally, as the sisters emerged on the eruptive terrain of adolescence, there were great romantic loves which engendered jealousy and rage. This was still a ""singularly happy time"" which ended with their return to England and a prosaic schoolgirl world. The Goddens have a devotee following to which this memoir, as evanescent and enduring as every childhood, will appeal. It is a special book, especially suited to midsummer reading, and it has this designation for its selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club. It will also have a dual publisher as well as author credit-- Knopf and Viking are publishing it jointly with Viking distributing the book.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1966
Publisher: Viking