Kipling and Trix

Mary Hamer. Aurora Metro Press, $22.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-906582-34-0
Hamer’s fictionalized account of the childhood of one of imperial Britain’s foremost authors (Rudyard Kipling) and his sister makes for an immersive reading experience. Born in Bombay, both Rudyard and Alice (known as Trix) are sent as children to live with a dour evangelist, which leaves deep emotional scars. The story touches lightly on their school days, highlighting their closeness and vulnerability as each seeks refuge and emotional release through writing. While Rudyard’s stories bring him wealth and respect, his sister’s work meets disapproval and rejection from publishers, forcing her to publish under an assumed name. His success permits him to marry as he chooses. Unfortunate Trix, however, is shamed into accepting a dull man and married life in Calcutta, which she finds stifling. Her misery leads to series of breakdowns that keep her in England for prolonged periods, while her famous brother adventures in the United States and South Africa. The main characters are exceedingly well drawn and portrayed with compassion and sensitivity. The author’s extensive research is evident, but doesn’t interrupt the gripping narrative. This is a moving portrayal of two complex lives. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/09/2015
Release date: 12/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
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