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Miss Timmins' School for Girls: A Novel Paperback – June 21, 2011
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Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
“The intimate portrait the novel offers of India at this specific point in its history is compelling, as is the dramatic relationship between Charu and the deeply troubled Moira.” (Booklist)
“Currimbhoy’s fiction debut is an absorbing atmospheric thriller. . . . [A] gripping tale.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An irresistible novel that hurls forward at breathtaking speed toward an unpredictable climax.” (Thrity Umrigar, bestselling author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven)
“Beautifully written, atmospheric and very funny. Ms. Currimbhoy’s debut novel contains entire worlds. I couldn’t put it down.” (Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story)
“Exotic, mysterious, and haunting, MISS TIMMINS’ SCHOOL FOR GIRLS kept me up late for some delicious, spooky reading nights. I adored this book.” (Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals)
From the Back Cover
A murder at a British boarding school in the hills of western India launches a young teacher on the journey of a lifetime
In 1974, three weeks before her twenty-first birthday, Charulata Apte arrives at Miss Timmins' School for Girls in Panchgani. Shy, sheltered, and running from a scandal that disgraced her Brahmin family, Charu finds herself teaching Shakespeare to rich Indian girls in a boarding school still run like an outpost of the British Empire. In this small, foreign universe, Charu is drawn to the charismatic teacher Moira Prince, who introduces her to pot-smoking hippies, rock ‘n' roll, and freedoms she never knew existed.
Then one monsoon night, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff, and the ordered worlds of school and town are thrown into chaos. When Charu is implicated in the murder—a case three intrepid schoolgirls take it upon themselves to solve—Charu's real education begins. A love story and a murder mystery, Miss Timmins' School for Girls is, ultimately, a coming-of-age tale set against the turbulence of the 1970s as it played out in one small corner of India.
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Top Customer Reviews
It has been a long time since I have read a book that created such an effective atmosphere. The writing is wonderfully poetic , at its best when portraying the physical setting and Indian culture & family relationships. By contrast the British veneer seems rather pallid & the drug culture somewhat blurred, both of which are appropriate.
The mystery at the heart of the plot was also gripping. As various people come forth, generally reluctantly, to reveal new information, suspicion turns from a school employee with a dubious night-time occupation to the headmistress. All of the possible theories seem plausible, as does the final denouement... if, indeed, it is final.
Nonetheless, the book is somewhat uneven in quality.Read more ›
Yes, there's a murder. The young English woman who also teaches at boarding school in an Indian hilltop town is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Suspects roll by; Charu, seduced by the young woman, may know more than she is admitting about events. Or does she? Ultimately, I realized I didn't even care that much. Beyond Currimbhoy's excellent portrayal of the claustrophobic environment of an Indian boarding school in 1974, and her atmospheric picture of a remote community that is essentially cut off from the wider world during the monsoon season, I found little to grab and hold my attention.Read more ›
I nearly stopped reading Miss Timmin's School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy after the first 125 pages. In fact, I put it aside and read another book before picking it back up and finishing the novel. While the background information in the first section of the book is essential to the plot and mystery of the novel, it seemed slow and plodding. I don't like reading the details of any sexual encounters and felt that this novel was too detailed in that regard.
Once the murder had taken place and the school girls become amateur detectives, I enjoyed the novel much more. It included just the right amounts of intrigue and suspicion and kept me guessing until the end. Though it was still burdened by lengthy additions that didn't contribute to the plot. The book should have been at least 100 pages shorter.
Currimbhoy does possess a gift for words. At times a poet, she expertly brings the characters and setting to life. Charu, while rarely wise, is a sympathetic character and Currimbhoy portrays her as the innocent and the flawed, thus entirely human.
There's a mystery here. One of the teachers at the school is pushed off a cliff to her death. Suspicion is everywhere and on everyone.
What lifts this up a bit is that this all takes place in India in the mid 70's. Here the stodgy mix questionably with the free and experimental. Love blooms, though some of the exploits are over the top and could have been toned down for much better effect.
I feel this book has much to offer and I enjoyed reading it for what was was clear and beautifully written, it just doesn't hold up throughout. I think it could have been much improved by considerably more editorial attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can usually find some redeeming point for any book. I am sorry to say that I could not for this one. And, it could have been great, making it all the more disappointing. Read morePublished 17 months ago by reviewer wanta be
Enlightenment on Indian culture and the India/Britain relationship in the 70s is the highlight of this book. The murder mystery seems an after thought. Read morePublished 17 months ago by AF
Really great book. The novel is really a great coming of age book as a young girl learns to define herself outside of the confines of her parents home and her extended family's... Read morePublished 19 months ago by julie rogers
Usually, I love books written by Indian authors and located in India, but this is an exception. The story would have been helped by editing to tighten the story and move it along... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Tobey L. Grand
It took reading about 10% before I really got into this book, but once I did, I found it a rewarding read. Read morePublished on May 22, 2014 by C. Marshall
Story just meanders until you don't really care about the characters. Couldn't wait for it to end and then didn't feel like it had a good ending.Published on April 17, 2014 by Adriennemk
Ms. Cummbhoy, a first time author, has written a decent book. I would say though, it is difficult to follow in that many of the Indian words she uses are not in the small glossary... Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Karen's Comments