Rumer Godden - An Episode of Sparrows - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781844088515
    • Publication date:17 Apr 2014
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An Episode of Sparrows

A Virago Modern Classic

By Rumer Godden

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A captivating classic novel of a poor girl striving to create beauty among the bombsites of postwar London.

With a foreword by JACQUELINE WILSON

'A masterpiece of construction and utterly realistically convincing...Rumer Godden's writing is admired for many qualities...but I think her greatest strength is her accurate, unsentimental portrayal of children. Lovejoy, Tip and Sparkey were so real to me that they have stayed alive in my head for more than fifty years' Jacqueline Wilson

A captivating classic novel of a poor girl striving to create beauty among the bombsites of post-war London.

Someone has been digging up the private garden in the Square. Miss Angela Chesney of the Garden Committee is sure that a gang of local boys is to blame, but her sister, Olivia, isn't so sure. She wonders why the neighbourhood children - 'sparrows', she calls them - have to be locked out: don't they have a right to enjoy the garden too?

Nobody has any idea what sends Lovejoy Mason and her few friends in search of 'good garden earth'. Still less do they imagine where their investigation will lead them - to a struggling restaurant, a bombed-out church, and, at the heart of it all, a hidden garden.

Biographical Notes

Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

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  • ISBN: 9781405513319
  • Publication date: 17 Apr 2014
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  • Imprint: Virago
Sphere

The Lives We Touch

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The Battle of the Villa Fiorita

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When their mother leaves the country to be with her lover, Hugh and Caddie Clavering's seemingly perfect life falls apart. Devestated, and desperate for her to come back, the children travel alone to the Villa Fiorita on Lake Garda, determined not to leave without her. On arrival, they can tell Fanny and Rob are deeply in love, and their mother is happier than they've ever seen her, but the scheme lives on and Rob's young daughter is only too glad to help destroy their relationship. Will Hugh and Caddie realise that their actions have consequences before it is too late?

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The Lady and the Unicorn

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In a crumbling Calcutta mansion, with faded frescos and a jasmine-covered garden, the Lemarchant family live, clinging to the fringes of respectability: neither Indian nor English, they are accepted by no one and exploited by all.After only a day in India, Stephen Bright meets Rosa Lemarchant. In an ill-fitting dress once belonging to her sister, she is awkward and shy, and couldn't be more different from the stories he has heard of fast 'Eurasian' girls. Ignorant of Calcutta's strict codes of conformity, he falls in love with Rosa and becomes enchanted by the building in which she lives, determined to uncover its secrets.Mystery pervades this story of a memory-haunted house in old Calcutta, as secret as a sundial in a ruined garden.

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The Dark Horse

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Thursday's Children

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Doone Penny is a child with a gift - he was born to dance. But though others recognise his talent, there is little encouragement from his family. His mother preens over his pretty sister, Crystal, also a dancer, but fiercely competitive and vain. Doone's father would never allow a son of his to have ballet lessons, and his brothers think he's a sissy.But Doone has passion and ambition beyond his years, and knows he can succeed, if only he is given the chance. If he can make it into Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, he'll show them all . ..

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Listen to the Nightingale

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'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer . . . Never forget. Promise.'Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a spaniel puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless. When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.

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Black Narcissus

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Kingfishers Catch Fire

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Breakfast with the Nikolides

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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 . . .

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China Court

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A Fugue in Time

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Grizel Dane, a bold young servicewoman in the US army, arrives at the London home of her great-uncle Sir Rollo Dane seeking refuge from the chaos of wartime. Through the old man, Grizel learns the surprising history of the Dane family and Lark Ingoldsby.Orphaned by a train crash, Lark was taken in by the Danes as an adoptive daughter but soon found herself caught in a web of sibling rivalry, love and attrition. Selina Dane, racked with jealousy, set out to destroy Lark's dreams of love. When Grizel falls for Pax Masterson, a wounded airman, Rollo urges her to seize her chance for happiness, as he was not able to. Rumer Godden's dramatic story of romance and tragedy was the basis for the classic film Enchantment starring David Niven.

Virago

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

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A revered effigy of the god Shiva is missing from the Patna Hall Hotel on south India's exquisite Coromandel coast. Was it stolen, and to whom does it belong? Young lawyer Michael Dean, sent from London to argue the case for the defence, falls under the spell of Artemis, a graceful archaeologist who is staying at the hotel; but she proves as elusive as the mystery of the theft he is working on. Rumer Godden's classic novel is a magical, evocative exploration of art, love, class and greed in her beloved India.

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Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

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The Sisters of Béthanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society - criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds herself joining the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.

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