This is the first volume of Rumer Godden's autobiography; since I'm fond of her novels, I thought I'd be likely to enjoy her autobiography, and I did. This volume covers about the first forty years of Godden's long life; she died in 1998 at the age of 90. Godden grew up in India with her parents and three sisters and spent much of her later life there; as in many of her novels, she evokes it splendidly here in her autobiography.
She describes her growth as a writer, from early stories to her first successful novel, Black Narcissus, the story of English nuns living and working in India. Though her life in this period was frequently unhappy — an awful boarding school, an unsuccessful first marriage — Godden's resilience always shows through, and the memoir ends as she returns to England from India, a manuscript under her arm and hope in her heart.
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