Although this story's particular events could not have happened anywhere except in British-India, everyone will feel at home in its sunny atmosphere. The three girls who lived these adventures were completely different, but they formed a close-knit trio and shared all of each other's joys and problems. Poopy possessed a face that seemed blank to everyone but her two friends, who read it with ease. She started each day neatly dressed, but within 10 minutes the other two were pulling up her shoulder straps and anchoring her garments with safety pins. Marise had beautiful curls and a chic born of her French ancestry. She came to the rescue with expert advice when Poopy fell irrevocably in love with the first man she ever really looked at. Poopy, in turn, knew how to counsel Marise in the sedate behavior likely to win over her prospective mother-in-law.
With neighbors like the dear, hilarious de Souza family ("Benny de Souza was 12, and knew everything-his conversation was an undiluted stream of solid facts."), Mr. Rogers the actor, Miss Gumm the piano teacher ("I began the Chopin with confidence, but before I had gone very far I felt a strong push and found Miss Gumm preparing to take my place."), and Mr. Andros ("that chap that goes and shoots man-eaters"), everybody and everything just a bit unexpected. The story is seen through the eyes of a girl whose name we never learn. She views her friends with love and loyalty and humor, and knows that life will never be quite the same when her girlhood is over.
Editor's note: This book, though written in the style of fiction, is largely an autobiography of Elizabeth Cadell's own childhood in British-India in the early 1900s. In listening to it, her fans will gain a wider perspective of their favorite author.
This audiobook has been narrated by the great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cadell
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This is a lovely, humorous, gentle story that is a semi-autobiographical story of Cadell's own childhood in the India of Empire.
I loved all three of the girls who were best friends.
Maddy did an absolutely amazing job. I am particular about books I listen to, and gave another Cadell with a different narrator a bad review. I think her over-the-top characters are hard to reproduce, but in this case, Maddy really brought the different accents to life. Not one was overdone from French Maurice to the little Indian boys.
I laughed several times, but it's sorrows were of the gentler sort, so no tears and I cry easily. But it was very touching.
This is one of my favourite Cadell novels, and this audio version is the perfect reader for the text.
- Kathy Whalen