Paperback Books by Rumer Godden

Rumer Godden is the author of The Peacock Spring (2023), The Dark Horse (2021), The Greengage Summer (2022), A Fugue in Time (2016) and other 159 books.

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The Peacock Spring

release date: Feb 09, 2023
The Peacock Spring
At fifteen and twelve, the daughters of diplomat Sir Edward Gwithiam have already seen more of the world than most girls of 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. 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. 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 Greengage Summer.

The Dark Horse

release date: Jun 22, 2021
The Dark Horse
The disappearance of a majestic Thoroughbred unites a community in 1930s India in “one of the greatest horse books ever written. . . . Moving, and highly original” (Lauren St. John, author of The White Giraffe). In Calcutta, India, John Quillan cares for racehorses belonging to wealthy owners, and Mother Morag, who lives just down the road and leads a group of nuns working with Calcutta’s poor, loves to watch these beautiful animals in action. Now, a new Thoroughbred, Dark Invader, has been shipped from England, rejected after a losing season, in which he didn’t live up to his owner’s expectations. A beautiful creature with rippling muscles and satin skin, Dark Invader is gently handled with love in his new home, and before long, he is poised for victory in the Viceroy Cup, the country’s most famous race. But just days before the event, he disappears—and a desperate effort to find him begins. From Rumer Godden—the award-winning author of such classics as The Greengage Summer and Black Narcissus, as well as a number of beloved children’s books—The Dark Horse is a moving and suspenseful story set in a fascinating historical era.

The Greengage Summer

release date: Oct 13, 2022
The Greengage Summer
A tense, evocative, portrait of love and deceit set during one long hot summer in France, The Greengage Summer is a hauntingly beautiful coming-of-age story by from Rumer Godden, the author of Black Narcissus, a major BBC drama series. When their mother is suddenly taken ill on holiday, five siblings are left to fend for themselves at the elegant, faded hotel, Les Oeillets. Under the increasingly jealous gaze of the glamorous patronne, Mademoiselle Zizi, the children gravitate towards her mysterious and charming lover, Eliot, for comfort. And, amongst the gnarled trees of the old orchards, thirteen-year-old Cecil watches from the side lines as her achingly beautiful sister, Joss, is drawn into the heart of a toxic affair. ''Rumer Godden''s novels pulse with life'' - Daily Telegraph ''One of the finest. . .English novelists'' - New York Times ''An exciting tale, this novel has both charm and atmosphere'' - Evening Standard

A Fugue in Time

release date: Dec 20, 2016
A Fugue in Time
Ghosts past, present, and future haunt an old London house in this masterful work of fiction from a New York Times–bestselling author. Sir Roland Ironmonger Dane is the last of his family to occupy the house at Number 99 Wiltshire Place in London. Now, in the early days of World War II, the elderly former general has been told that he must vacate the premises when the ninety-nine-year lease is up, leaving the only home he has ever known. But Sir Rolls and his longtime butler, Proutie, are not the only remaining residents. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow share the same space inside the old house, and every occupant from the past hundred years lives there still: Rolls’s ill-fated mother, Griselda; his father, the all-seeing “Eye”; his eight sisters and brothers. Even Rollo, the young boy Sir Rolls once was, continues to reside in Number 99, as does Lark, the adopted orphan whom he loved but let slip away. A century of a family’s history remains alive and vibrant within these walls, the events that defined their lives unfolding over and over again. But that living history is not ending quite yet, for the war is bringing a stranger from America to Number 99 Wiltshire Place to leave her indelible mark on it. A different kind of ghost story, Rumer Godden’s poignant, stylistically brilliant A Fugue in Time is a story rich in wonder, imagination, and heart—a favorite of the many devoted fans of the bestselling author of Black Narcissus and In This House of Brede. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

Breakfast with the Nikolides

release date: Dec 20, 2016
Breakfast with the Nikolides
A troubled European family struggles to make a life in India during WWII in this “absorbing” novel from a New York Times–bestselling author (Kirkus Reviews). Eight years ago, Louise Pool left her husband, Charles, in India, fleeing a marriage marked by anger, disillusion, and mistrust. Now, with Europe engulfed in the flames of World War II and Germany’s Nazi juggernaut rolling through occupied France, Louise is reluctantly returning to East Bengal, where Charles runs a government farm that hosts an Indian agricultural school. Back to this oppressive land she brings with her their two young daughters, who barely remember their father. For plain, awkward, eleven-year-old Emily, the “homecoming” offers both an exciting change from cosmopolitan Paris and a harsh immersion into the adult world. Intrigued by the sights, sounds, and smells of her exotic new home, she’s left free to explore—and enjoy the hospitality and kindness of their glamorous neighbors, the Nikolides. Emily’s already contentious relationship with her mother is only worsened, however, by Louise’s intense hatred of rural India and its people and her continued unhappiness with the marriage she insists is temporary. The faults and foibles of both parents and the irreparable cracks in their union become all too apparent from a daughter’s close-up perspective. But it is an extreme act of thoughtless cruelty that will ultimately shatter the tenuous bonds of family, violently disrupting the lives of the Pools and the community at large. Fans of the Masterpiece show Indian Summers will enjoy this poignant novel of betrayal, lost innocence, and fragile family ties, which represents the bestselling author of In This House of Brede and Kingfishers Catch Fire at her best. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

The Lady and the Unicorn

release date: Dec 20, 2016
The Lady and the Unicorn
Three sisters battle poverty and prejudice in 1930s India in this heart-wrenching tale from a New York Times–bestselling novelist. Life is difficult for the three Lemarchant sisters in the latter years of the British Raj. Born of two cultures and rejected by both—the “half-caste” daughters of an Englishman and an Indian mother—twins Belle and Rosa and their younger sibling, Blanche, live with their widowed father and “Auntie” in an apartment in a crumbling mansion in Calcutta. Having grown to young womanhood in poverty—the result of their father’s indolence and society’s intolerance—tough-minded Belle is determined to improve her lot in life, even if it means compromising her principles and her pride. Her beautiful twin, Rosa, however, dreams of a different, grander escape and foolishly puts her faith in love. For Blanche, the entire world is the decaying estate the Lemarchants share with other Anglo-Indian outcasts. Rejected by her own siblings due to the darkness of her skin, the lonely little girl wanders the halls and grounds, enjoying the fantasy of a phantom pet while communing with ghosts only the purest of souls can see. An extraordinary novel rich in color and heartbreaking human drama, The Lady and the Unicorn is the poignant tale of one family’s struggle to make a future in a society blinded by prejudice and divided by caste. A powerful story of coming-of-age and coming to terms, it is a masterful fiction from one of the preeminent British authors of the twentieth century. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

The River

release date: Dec 20, 2016
The River
Facing harsh adult realities, a young English girl in India must leave childhood behind, in this masterful tale from a New York Times–bestselling author. The Ganges River runs through young Harriet’s world. The eleven-year-old daughter of the British owner of a successful jute concern, she loves her life in Bengal, India, on the river’s edge, so far removed from the English boarding school she attended before the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. Often left alone by an overworked father and preoccupied mother, Harriet is enchanted by the local festivals, colors, and vibrant life surrounding her. Now, as she stands on the brink of adulthood—too old to play childish games with her reckless little brother, Bogey, yet too young to be touched by such grown-up concerns as the faraway Second World War—a stranger’s unexpected arrival will rock her world. When Captain John, a handsome soldier returning wounded from the battlefield, becomes her family’s new neighbor, Harriet is instantly entranced, beset by a rush of unfamiliar emotions: longing, jealousy, infatuation. But the inevitable change inherent in growing older may be too heavy a burden for a young girl to bear when it carries with it disappointment and heartbreaking loss. Inspired by the author’s personal experiences as a child raised in India—and the basis for the acclaimed classic motion picture of the same name from French film director Jean Renoir—Rumer Godden’s The River is a lovely, moving portrayal of childhood’s end. Evocative, heartfelt, and bittersweet, it is a coming-of-age story without equal from a major twentieth-century novelist. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

Coromandel Sea Change

release date: Dec 20, 2016
Coromandel Sea Change
A hotel in southern India is home to a host of romantic intrigues and human misadventures in this delightful novel from a New York Times–bestselling author. Over a decade before The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, award-winning author Rumer Godden was delighting readers with the exploits of the residents and staff at a quaint getaway resort in southern India. Wily and winning Anglo-Indian hotel owner Auntie Sanni has entertained all manner of guests during her many years as hostess at Patna Hall, a popular vacation spot on the lush Coromandel coast. Now, with an election coming, business is especially brisk, and her hotel is packed with Indian politicians, British diplomats, journalists, American tourists—even a donkey, an elephant, and a woman of mystery or two. Among the vacationers are Mary and Blaise, a young English couple on their honeymoon. But where Mary is enchanted by the colors, sounds, and vibrant Indian life, prim and priggish Blaise sees only squalor, sordidness, and a Coromandel Sea teeming with sharks. Matters are only made worse when Mary becomes interested in local Indian politics—particularly the handsome, exquisitely spoken candidate Krishnan, whose kindness and wisdom are like a balm for her spirit. As tensions between the newlyweds continue to mount, even resourceful Auntie Sanni may not be able to forestall potential unpleasantness or prevent it from escalating into tragedy. The acclaimed author of Black Narcissus and The River returns readers once again to her beloved India with a novel brimming with heart, wit, unforgettable characters, and “a sense of timelessness reminiscent of E. M. Forster” (The Times, London). This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy

release date: Dec 13, 2016
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
From a New York Times–bestselling author: A novel of a woman’s journey from prostitute to brothel madam to murderess to nun in post–World War II France. A sense of adventure and an eagerness to savor life to the fullest impel young, orphaned Elizabeth Fanshawe to escape her cold, unloving home and enlist in the British Army as a driver in 1944. Dispatched to Paris at the close of the Allies’ war against the hated Nazis, she soon finds herself swept up in the intoxicating celebratory glee of the newly liberated French. But after she meets the charming, seductive Patrice Ambard, Elizabeth’s life takes a sharp turn down a very dark road. Her love for the dashing, hypnotic Frenchman draws Elizabeth, now called Lise, into Patrice’s world of crime and high-class prostitution, where she is broken, hardened, and then transformed into the whore-turned-notorious-madam known as La Balafrée, or the Scarred One. Still, her great fall will not be complete until circumstances drive her to commit a shocking murder—and imprisonment ultimately sets her free. A haunting tale of disgrace, degradation, and glorious redemption told in flashbacks from the convent of Belle Source, where Soeur Marie Lise of the Sisters of Bethany remembers her years of sin and her eventual salvation, Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy is moving and powerful fiction from one of the most admired British novelists of the twentieth century. Rumer Godden, author of Black Narcissus and In This House of Brede, has crafted a truly transformative tale about faith, forgiveness, and the mercy of a loving God. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

In This House of Brede

release date: Dec 13, 2016
In This House of Brede
Following World War II, a British widow joins a Benedictine monastery in this poignant New York Times bestseller from the author of Black Narcissus. For most of her adult life, Philippa Talbot has been a successful British professional. Now in her forties, the World War II–widow has made a startling decision: She’s giving up her civil service career and elite social standing to join a convent as a postulant Roman Catholic nun. In Sussex in the south of England, Philippa begins her new life inside Brede Abbey, a venerable, 130-year-old Benedictine monastery. Taking her place among a diverse group of extraordinary women, young and old, she is welcomed into the surprisingly rich and complex world of the devout, whom faith, fate, and circumstance have led there. From their personal stories, both uplifting and heartbreaking, Philippa draws great strength in the weeks, months, and years that follow, as the confidence, conflicts, and poignant humanity of her fellow sisters serve to validate her love and sacred purpose. But a time of great upheaval in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church approaches as the winds of change blow at gale force. And for the financially troubled Brede and the acolytes within, it will take no less than a miracle to weather the storm. Author Rumer Godden spent three years living in close proximity to Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire communing with the Benedictine nuns in preparation for the writing of this beloved bestseller. The result is an honest and unforgettable novel of love, sacrifice, and devotion, a major literary achievement 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.

Black Narcissus

release date: Dec 13, 2016
Black Narcissus
Five nuns confront nature—physical and human—in a remote Himalayan convent in the bestselling novel that inspired the new FX miniseries. Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor’s agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean. But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts. The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award–winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, as well as the new miniseries on FX starring Gemma Arterton, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century. “Bears comparison with A Passage to India.” —Arthur Koestler This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

China Court

release date: Dec 13, 2016
China Court
A New York Times–bestselling novel of the lives, loves, and foibles of five generations of a British family occupying a manor house in Wales. For nearly one hundred and fifty years the Quin family has lived at China Court, their magnificent estate in the Welsh countryside. The land, gardens, and breathtaking home have been maintained, cherished, and ultimately passed along—from Eustace and Adza in the early nineteenth century to village-girl-turned-lady-of-the-manor Ripsie Quin, her children, and her granddaughter, Tracy, in the twentieth. Brilliantly intermingling the past and the present, China Court is a sweeping family saga that weaves back and forth through time. The story begins at the end, in 1960, with the death of the indomitable Ripsie, whose dream of a life at the grand estate was realized through her marriage to the steadfast Quin brother who loved her—though he wasn’t the one she had always loved. With thrilling literary leaps across the decades, the story of a British dynasty is told in enthralling detail. It is a chronicle of wives and husbands; of mothers, sons, and daughters; of those who could never stray far from the lush grounds of China Court and the outcasts and outsiders who would never truly belong. Bearing comparison to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Rumer Godden’s novel relates the history of a family with sensitivity, wit, compassion, and a compelling touch of magical realism. A family’s loves, pains, triumphs, and scandals are laid bare, forming an intricate tapestry of heart-wrenching humanity, in a remarkable work of fiction from one of the most acclaimed British novelists of the twentieth century. This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.

The Fairy Doll

release date: Oct 06, 2016
The Fairy Doll
Elizabeth is enchanted by the beautiful fairy doll that sits at the top of the Christmas tree wearing a sparkly beaded dress and delicate silver shoes. Little Elizabeth could never be so perfect - she is always getting into trouble. Then Great-Grandma gives Fairy Doll to Elizabeth - and suddenly everything starts going right instead of wrong. Could Fairy Doll be magical? First published in 1956, The Fairy Doll is a Christmas story to treasure from classic writer Rumer Godden, beautifully illustrated throughout by Gary Blythe.

The Dolls' House

release date: Oct 06, 2016
The Dolls' House
Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family is owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and they are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls'' house - just for them. It''s perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wreak havoc in the dolls'' house. For Marchpane might be a wonderfully beautiful doll, but she is also terribly cruel. And she always gets her own way . . . First published in 1947, Rumer Godden''s classic The Dolls'' House has been delighting children for years, and this beautiful edition, illustrated by Jane Ray, will delight future generations for years to come.

The Story of Holly and Ivy

release date: Oct 06, 2016
The Story of Holly and Ivy
It is Christmas Eve and, for the toys in Mr Blossom''s shop, it is their last chance to be sold. Holly, a small doll dressed especially for Christmas, wishes hard for her own special child. But the day ends and Holly is left in the window. On Christmas morning a little lost orphan girl finds herself outside the toyshop. Ivy has never had a doll to love, but when she sees Holly, she knows at once that this doll is meant specially for her. But Ivy has no money, and the shop is closed . . . The Story of Holly and Ivy is a Christmas classic by Rumer Godden, beautifully illustrated by Christian Birmingham.

Mouse House

release date: Sep 06, 2016
Mouse House
“Once upon a time there was a little mouse house. It was like a doll’s house, but not for dolls, for mice.” Not proper mice, but a flannel He-Mouse and She-Mouse with beady eyes and bristle whiskers who stand quite still, propped on their hind legs in the sitting room. Mary knows real mice run and scamper, and disappointed with her new gift, she puts the mouse house away in her room. Meanwhile, down in the basement, a real mouse named Bonnie has been jostled out of her woefully inadequate flowerpot home by her older brothers and sisters. Overlooked by her harried parents and desperate for shelter, Bonnie ventures upstairs and finds the mouse house. And before too long what was a miniature make-believe house becomes a marvelously messy home for proper mice who know how to play, much to everyone’s delight.

An Episode of Sparrows

release date: May 31, 2016
An Episode of Sparrows
An emergency meeting of the Mortimer Square Garden Committee has been convened to discuss a most alarming matter: Someone has been digging in the garden and making off with buckets of dirt. Miss Angela Chesney is sure that a gang of boys from run-down Catford Street is to blame. But Angela’s sister, Olivia, isn’t so sure. Olivia has always wondered why the neighborhood children—the “sparrows” she sometimes watches from the window of her house—are kept out of the private garden. Don’t they have a right to enjoy the place, too? But neither Angela nor Olivia has any idea what sent the neighborhood waif Lovejoy Mason and her few friends in search of good, rich earth. Still less do they imagine where their investigation of the incident will lead them—to a struggling restaurant, a bombed-out church, and at the heart of it all, a hidden garden.

Little Plum

release date: Oct 22, 2015
Little Plum
When Gem moves into The House Next Door, Nona and Belinda think she''s stuck up and vow to have nothing to do with her. But the beautiful Japanese doll in her window soon attracts their attention. They name her Little Plum because of the plum blossom decorating her clothes - but unlike Nona''s Japanese dolls, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, Little Plum seems sad, unloved and uncared for. Will the three girls - and the three dolls - ever become friends? A beautiful illustrated cover edition of Little Plum, Rumer Godden''s classic story about family and friendship.

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower

release date: Oct 22, 2015
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower
A beautifully illustrated cover edition of Rumer Godden''s classic story about friendship and family, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. When little Nona is sent from her sunny home in India to live with her relatives in chilly England, she is miserable. Then a box arrives for her in the post and inside, wrapped up in tissue paper, are two little Japanese dolls. A slip of paper says their names are Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. Nona thinks that they must feel lonely too, so far away from home. Then Nona has an idea – she will build her dolls the perfect house! It will be just like a Japanese home in every way. It will even have a tiny Japanese garden. And as she begins to make Miss Happiness and Miss Flower happy, Nona finds that she is happier too.

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle

release date: Jun 21, 2018
The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle
A re-imagined Grimm tale illustrated by Katie Morag creator Mairi Hedderwick

The Dolls' House: Macmillan Classics Edition

release date: Nov 10, 2015
The Dolls' House: Macmillan Classics Edition
Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family are owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls'' house - just for them. It''s perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wreak havoc in the dolls'' house. For Marchpane might be a wonderfully beautiful doll, but she is also terribly cruel. And she always gets her own way . . . Gloriously illustrated by Jane Ray, and with a ribbon marker and a foreword by Jacqueline Wilson, this beautiful hardback Macmillan Classics edition of Rumer Godden''s The Dolls'' House, which was first published in 1947, is a truly special gift to treasure.

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita

release date: Feb 05, 2015
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita
By the author of Black Narcissus. ''One of our best and most captivating novelists'' Philip Hensher 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?

Thursday's Children

release date: Apr 04, 2013
Thursday's Children
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 . ..

Listen to the Nightingale

release date: Apr 04, 2013
Listen to the Nightingale
By the author of Black Narcissus. ''Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty'' New York Times ''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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