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Miss Timmins' School for Girls    by Nayana Currimbhoy order for
Miss Timmins' School for Girls
by Nayana Currimbhoy
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

At a girls' school in Panchgani, India, repression and lack of inhibition conflict and an illicit affair and a murder take a toll on what seem to be placid living conditions.

The warmed-over English mores of an administration exist remote from the reality that the mixed-nationality teachers and students have to deal with. The village, with its simple residents, remains far apart from the British-run school for daughters of wealthy Indians, where it is more usual to be learning Shakespeare than it is to study Hindu.

In this atmosphere the imagination of the students can run pretty wild, and as they observe two teachers who dare to leave the school premises at any time to smoke various kinds of substances, truth becomes subject to the particular observer.

This is a strange story, but somehow very contemporary. The author does a great job with the setting, and there are some very interesting characters. Eventually the murder does get solved, but we are left wondering about many things, including what really has happened to the main players, since at the end things kind of fast forward very rapidly.

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