From the Publisher:
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.
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy is a debut novel about Charu, a young Indian woman teaching at a boarding school in India in the mid-1970s. This is a novel with a mix of emotions as Charu explores a modern cultural shift through a new found friendship at the school. While the story is emotional and dramatic at times, it turns into a mystery when one of the teachers at Miss Timmins is murdered. I found Currimbhoy’s tale to be excellently crafted and applaud her for portraying the implicit parallels between the progressive movement at the very traditional and conservative school and the changes sweeping throughout India at the time. The characters were believably flawed and readers will get to know them through well-written prose. Perhaps there is some cultural barrier that prevented me from truly relating to these characters, but my inability to relate left me feeling a little disconnected from the emotions and feel for the story and its time. All said however, Currimbhoy has put forth a very good debut novel and I recommend Miss Timmins’ School for Girls to those who enjoy the added element of mystery.
Nayana Currimbhoy was raised in India where she attended an all-girls boarding school in a fairly remote hill station. She moved to the U.S. in the early eighties, and has been a businesswoman and a freelance writer. She has written books, film scripts, and articles about many things, including architecture and design, and a biography of India Gandhi. Miss Timmins’ School for Girls is her first novel. Nayana lives in New York City with her husband, an architect, and their teenage daughter.
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I received a copy of Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.