From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Greengage Summer: Two English sisters’ lives are transformed when their father brings them to India.
At fifteen and twelve, the daughters of Sir Edward Gwithiam of the diplomatic service have already seen more of the world than most children their age. But when Una and her younger sister, Halcyon, are summoned from their English boarding school to join their father in New Delhi, they encounter a reality unlike anything they have ever experienced.
For Hal, India is a glorious adventure, filled with exotic sights and sounds, and a host of interesting new people. But Una feels like an outsider in this world of ingrained racial prejudice and cultural elitism left over from the days of the British Raj. Though no longer a child, she is expected to submit to the will of a Eurasian governess, the calculating and beautiful Alix Lamont, whose relationship with the girls’ father appears more intimate and troubling than merely employee–employer.
Then Ravi, a young Indian gardener, brings a welcome light into Una’s life, relieving her sadness and loneliness with poetry and compassion. But what begins as a simple friendship soon blossoms into a love forbidden by society, threatening to end in scandal and disaster.
Based in part on Rumer Godden’s personal experiences and informed by her love of the Indian continent, where she spent the better part of her early life, The Peacock Spring is a beautiful and heartbreaking novel of loss of innocence and coming-of-age from the acclaimed author of Black Narcissus and The River.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.