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Pippa Passes

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Ever since the publication of Black Narcissus in 1939, Godden has been regarded as one of the finest and subtlest of writers. Introducing her work to a new generation of readers, this novel tells of the youngest new recruit to the Midland City Ballet who has been invited on the Italian tour. With poignancy and perception, Godden reveals a girl's unforeseen awakening to a c ...more
Published (first published 1994)
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Jun 20, 2012 Jenne rated it it was ok

Well that was a weird little book. Really, it's almost exactly the same book as A Company of Swans but with bonus Evil Lesbian and approx 63% less charm.
“What immediately caught me were the small sketches in the margin, sketches of a water city I had dimly known of but had not visualised. here were domes, towers, pinnacles, arches, stone bridges, small stone-flagged alleyways – it seemed there was not one spacious street; glimpses of canals, big and little with boats, endless boats, barges, many of them long, graceful, elongated craft steered by a man standing on the stern with a single oar; sketches of markets on the canal banks, of a wide lago ...more
Mark McKenna
Apr 18, 2011 Mark McKenna rated it it was amazing
Rumer Godden, the author of "Pippa Passes," was a lovely British writer of a generation ago. Author of more than sixty novels, Godden was born in 1907, lived for a time in India, and had a ballet studio before starting her writing career. She died at the age of 90 on November 8, 1998, in England.

Pippa is Pippa Fane, a young dancer in the ballet corps taking her first trip -- to Venice -- with London's Midlands City Ballet. "Pippa Passes" was published in 1994 so Godden must have been in her mid-
Oct 02, 2010 Nan rated it liked it
A "coming-of-age" book that begins in innocence, only hinting at a darker future, and ends in the complexities of early adulthood, with a timeframe of about a week. It's also a reminder that danger and that which rescues us from danger can be closely related. The author uses a device I'd never noticed before--relating the thoughts of a character and then quoting another in what he/she would've said had the thoughts been spoken aloud. Clever way to let the reader in on things.
Sep 17, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ballet
Abrupt little tale that starts off seeming too old fashioned for its time period and then suddenly turns cynical. The characters are flat and unlikeable. However, it made me want to go to Venice and eat.
Ruby Hollyberry
Sep 11, 2010 Ruby Hollyberry rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
A minor novel of the author's - she has written many that are deeper and more amazing - but every note is in harmony. A ballerina novel, a coming-of-age novel, and a lovely visit to the Italy dreamers dream of.
Dec 03, 2016 Eleanor rated it it was ok
A long time ago in my distant youth, I used to enjoy Rumer Godden's books. So it was a great disappointment to read this one, which I had picked up in a secondhand bookshop somewhere. I found it dreadfully twee and pretty unbelievable in terms of a 17 year old new member of a ballet company turning into a star almost overnight. At the same time she's sweeping everyone she meets off their feet with her charm and beauty ... oh, and she's a wonderful singer too. Gosh!

I did manage to read to the end
Jul 17, 2012 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seventeen-year-old Phillipa, “Pippa”, is a ballet dancer in a British troupe visiting Venice. Über-talented both in dance and voice, Pippa has led the sheltered life of a cloistered and protected performing arts student, so her first trip abroad, and to romantic Venice at that, finds her wide-eyed and naïve. She immediately encounters a handsome young gondolier, and falls deeply in love. He is attracted in turn, but his motivations are slightly different than purely romantic.

In the meantime, Pip
Oct 09, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
Phillipa Fane, 17, the youngest dancer in the Midlands City Ballet is chosen to go on an Italian tour. In Venice, she meets Nicolo, a young gondolier, and the family that employs him. When the Ballet Mistress, Angharad Fullerton, makes unwanted sexual advances to Pippa, it is to Nicolo and his employers that she turns for help. There is a lot here on the workings of a ballet company on tour; they danced at the Teatro La Fenice, the historic opera house that was in the news briefly in January '96 ...more
Ruth Seeley
I'd like to read some more Godden - there are some nice subtleties in this one relating to youth, coming of age, and finding one's way despite the not necessarily well-meaning intervention of one's elders. Sadly in this one I don't think she really comes to grip with any of the characters - the omniscient third-person narrator approach means we view Pippa from a distance and from the outside, and that's true of all the characters. It may be a case of telling, not showing - I'm not sure. Certainl ...more
May 07, 2014 Maggie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, realistic, ballet
Un petit roman about a young ballerina who goes to Venice and blossoms. Sweet and light. But pretty inconsequential.

If you are interested in reading Rumer Godden, an author of some renown although you don’t hear much about her these days, I highly (HIGHLY!!) recommend instead both “In This House of Brede” and “China Court” both of which are easy to obtain, in my experience, at any decent-sized used bookstore.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Pippa is startled to find herself chosen to dance with her ballet company on an international tour. While in Venice, she is selected to dance a special part designed with her in mind. She meets a handsome gondolier who hears her beautiful voice and decides she is perfect for his band.

A delightful lark of a story.

And I’ve had this book for a mere two years.
May 02, 2013 Arlene rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
A coming of age novel with many lessons learned by Pippa as she embarks on her career as a ballerina in Venice.
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Margaret Rumer Godden was born in Sussex, 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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