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Breakfast With The Nikolides
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Breakfast With The Nikolides

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A story of childhood set in the hot and turbulent Indian plains. Louise sets out to India with her two daughters to stay with her estranged husband. They arrive at his farm in the vast and unstable plains of East Bengal and almost immediately the fragile relationships between the four family members start to break down. There are fierce tensions between Louise and her husb ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published 2002 by Pan Macmillan (first published 1942)
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Many of Rumer Godden’s novels are set in India and I really like novels set in India – so it is perhaps surprising that I have not read more of her novels. I have only read about four of Rumer Godden’s adult novels, and I really can’t remember if I read any of her children’s books when I was a child, I may have read The Diddakoi – possibly her most famous children’s book. Rumer Godden whose last book was published in 1997 was an extraordinarily prolific writer, with about twenty seven adult nove ...more
Plot comes from characters, end is mirrored in beginning, bitter, pungent quality to the settings, very sensual, strong sense of place. Complex relationships, expert use of scene and narrative.
I really like a story that unfolds like a puzzle, mixing hints from the past and insights from the future, the ugly and the beautiful, the vague and the specific. That is this book, one I think I will read again in the future with pleasure.

I preferred it to Kingfishers Catch Fire, the only other Godden I have read to date, because Louise, though perhaps more toxic than Sophie, is also more fractured and therefore more understandable, whereas Sophie is just frustrating and annoying. The other ch
Paula Sealey
Breakfast with the Nikolides is an unusual book set in East Bengal, India in a small agricultural town. There are many characters, which is a little off putting at first, but they merge together wonderfully as the story progresses.

Hardworking and respected Englishman Charles Pool, builds up and then runs the Government farm. After living alone for 8 years, he suddenly produces his wife and their two daughters. Louise, 11 year old Emily and 8 year old Binnie have fled from France and impending oc
I thought this book was a brilliant read. I have to say that I don't tend to read culture/religion genre of books but this one seemed to of grabbed me.

The setting was in India where Charles Pool lived, and his wife Louise came from France in the middle of the war with both of her children - Binnie and Emily. Emily loved India and how beautiful it was, however her mother Louise hated all that India had to offer - She hated the smells, the scenery and even the people.

Breakfast with the Nikolides i
Though sometimes listed as one of Rumer Godden’s “children’s” books, Breakfast with the Nikolides is a decidedly adult novel, chock full of dark and difficult themes: sexual desire, frustration, betrayal, revenge, reconciliation. Written early in her long career, the fifth of her twenty-four novels, Godden remarked that though the book was received without much comment, it came very close to her personal goal of “truthful writing”.

This is one of the “Indian” novels, started in 1940 as Rumer, he
Jill Minor
A long-neglected beauty, unforgivably and repeatedly out of print--like so many of Godden's novels. Reminiscent of Virginia Woolf and Molly Keane, and very akin to Forster's A Passage to India. Deep, dark; with a gossamer plot that slowly tightens around you like a spiderweb; packs an emotional wallop. Touches on all the best empire-builders-among-the-natives themes.
I read this book on vacation and it was nothing short of amazing. I was so impressed by her economy of language, and perfectly worded descriptions of people and places. She didn't need to be verbose or flowery, she nailed it. So good!
Incredibly atmospheric book. It definitely sweeps you in and grips you so you feel the heat of Bengal and the tensions which erupt from the clash of cultures. Loved it.
Carolyn Johnson
THis book, written early in Rumer Godden's career as a writer in 1942, was not my favorite by her. The plot was quite similar to other better written books, such as "The Raj Quartet," by Paul Scott. An native born Indian is accused of some dark deed against a white female, in this case, a thirteen year old girl.

However, the parts of the book about the two young girls and their exploring their lush Indian environment, are vivid in their detail, and seem more true. I had read this book in my teens
Not one of the top Goddens in my book, but not one of the ones I really can't get on with at all. The initial generalisations about 'Indians' were somewhat tooth-setting-on-edge but then she does go on to do well-differentiated and rounded Indian characters in the succeeding narrative.
A loss of innocence, a tragic death, the cruel vulnerability of human emotion and thought. A masterful and inspired work.
I didn't like this as much as Rumer Godden's other books. I get the feeling it was autobiographical and the worse for that.
Katherine Simmons
Good solid read but not as good as BN which the book and film that I hold as her best.
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She was born in Sussex, England, but grew up in India, in Narayanganj. Many of her 60 books are set in India. Black Narcissus was made into a famous movie with Deborah Kerr in 1947.

Godden wrote novels, poetry, plays, biographies, and books for children.

For more information, see the official website: Rumer Godden
More about Rumer Godden...
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