Enchanted Evening

M. M. Kaye, Author
M. M. Kaye, Author St. Martin's Press $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-26581-6
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
Hardcover - 367 pages - 978-0-670-88683-8
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-0-7089-9412-2
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4668-4275-5
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Fans of this British author's bestselling fiction (The Far Pavilions) will greatly enjoy the third volume (following The Sun in the Morning and Golden Afternoon) of her autobiography, Share of Summer. This memoir extends from the end of WWI through WWII, when, in the midst of the complex international situation, a number of momentous events occurred in Kaye's life. In her early 20s, she and her family left India, the country where she spent a happy and protected childhood as the daughter of a career British army officer. Her beloved father, Tacklow, brought the family back to China, but his wife and two daughters did not share his enthusiasm for the country in which he had first established himself; after several years, the family returned by way of Japan to India. Back in India, TacklowDKaye's bedrockDdied suddenly of a heart attack, a loss that transformed her life. She returned to London, where she worked as a painter during the day and, to cope with her lonely evenings, joined a ""Tuppenny Library"" and started to write. The success of her first novel (Six Bars and Seven) and a children's book series (Potter Pinner Meadow) enabled Kaye not only to return to India during the war, but made it possible for her to do a good bit of traveling, including a visit to Persia (now Iran), faithfully detailed here. Kaye writes with a vivid and personal immediacyDwhether describing exotic locales or the most ordinary day. At the same time, as one who lived a privileged life and celebrates the glories of British imperialism, her world and point of view often seem remote, decadent and even unjust. But fans of her fiction and readers who enjoy tales about the halcyon days of the British Empire will be charmed. B&w photos. Agent, Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Asoociates. (Dec. 18)
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