the peacock spring Author:Rumer Godden When in the middle of their diplomat father, Sir Edward, they are perplexed. No reason is given but, as Una dryly remarks, "Children are not asked, they are ordered," and technically she still ranks as a child. Wen the girls meet their tutor, Alix, a beautiful Eurasian, the reason is painfully evident, and between Una and the father whom she h... more »as always been so close, tensions spring up.
Whatever the intrigues behind the walls of their UN villa, there is no gainsaying the fascinations of the New Delhi that unfolds before the two girls. The Splendors of the past, the teeming variety of races and peoples, the hieratic pleasures of the rich, challenged but surviving in social ferment- all assail the two pale English schoolgirls like a blaze of chromatic light. Alix's demimondaine mother, a suave young captain of Indian cavalry and his amiable sister, a noblewoman who presides over one of the city's leading salons, the servants with their watchers' wisdom- these and many more are the wonderfully realized dramatis personae of the girls' new world. Then Una meets a young man who is not what at first he seems, and the drama of a secret love and ma doomed household is set on its swift and moving course. Before the end Una has experienced an India that few Westerners ever see. However long she lives and whatever happens to her, the Peacock Spring will be the most memorable season of her life.« less