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India Dark

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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  181 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Madras 1910. A troupe of child performers are stranded, having staged a strike against their manager. Their fate now depends on the outcome of a court case, and an alliance with gentlemen of the British Raj. Based on a true story, India Dark recreates shifting friendships and loyalties and the clash of innocence versus experience.
Paperback, 326 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Allen Unwin
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(showing 1-30)
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Alex West
Beautifully written, well-researched, character driven novel that starts starts a bit slow but becomes a page-turner by the third to halfway mark.

Despite the premise, this is quite a subtle novel, which focuses on small things happening to ordinary people. The meatier events happen to peripheral characters, or are taking place in the background. The main characters are drawn in a very realistic way, and Murray does a particularly good job of making this group of teens really think and behave the
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Emma Emma
Oct 03, 2015 Emma Emma rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at a library after seeing a 'Read Me' sign stuck in it. It came with a review from TheBookAddictedGirl and I couldn't resist. It sounded terribly interesting (and it turns out that it was!)

From my own research, Murray appeared to do a decent job of telling the story of a true event. It turned out to be a lot more brutal than I expected. For some, the topics may be triggering; child abuse, rape, violence. It focuses mainly on our two heroines, Tilly and Poesy, telling the st
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Samantha-Ellen Bound
Jun 20, 2011 Samantha-Ellen Bound rated it really liked it
Murray did a great deal of research in writing India Dark, and from what I’ve read, became quite invested in it. This allows me a greater appreciation of the book. I think she has done a fantastic job of taking a small but fascinating part of Australian history and turning it into a novel which is vivid, well-written and complex, plus a rollicking good adventure to boot. I would highly reccommend India Dark for school libraries. It has all the important stuff while remaining a compelling, at tim ...more
TheBookAddictedGirl
Oct 14, 2011 TheBookAddictedGirl rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone Who Loves Scandal, Romance, Acting, History and True-to-Life Fiction
4 Out of 5
Poesy Swift and Tilly Sweetrick are Lilliputians – child performers who tour the world, singing and dancing, having the times of their lives before becoming ladies, gentlemen and ‘real’ actors. To begin with, it is just like that for Poesy: she’s escaped the shattered remains of her family, is with her old friend and doing what she loves best. But soon the money starts running out. Illness strikes. Under the pressure, the manager Mr Arthur soon shows his true colours. And before they
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Amy (Turn the Page)
Is anyone else drooling over this cover? Because it is gorgeous. Even though I have an ARC, kindly provided by Templar, I’m very tempted to buy the published book simply so I can have that cover on my book shelf!

If anyone’s looking for something a bit different in historical YA, or simply YA in general, I would urge you to pick up India Dark. I’m a big fan of historical fiction and even more so when it’s inspired or based on real characters or a real event, and particularly if it’s one based on
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Gloria
Mar 11, 2017 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Not only is this a good tale but it is an interesting piece of Australian history.
Hannah
Feb 25, 2012 Hannah rated it really liked it
It was 1909 when Posey Swift left Australian shores to tour America with the Lilliputian troupe, filled with dreams of singing and dancing her way across the country. But as funds run low and the Lilliputian group detours across South East Asia, the children find themselves fighting against the company owner Mr Arthur. How far will the children go to protect their rights, their freedom and get back home?

Review: Based on a true story, India Dark is set in a time when travel to different countries
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Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
This review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies

I don't know what it is, but something about India really intrigues me. Which is partially why I was excited to read India Dark by Kirsty Murray, despite it being an historical novel. But of course, the other part of it (pretty cover aside!) is the fascinating premise of it.

Based on a true story, India Dark tells a fictionalised story of a children's travelling theatre group in 1910, which went on strike while touring India and refuse
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Josie
I picked this up because of the gorgeous cover! I loved the colours and the way it felt, and also because on the back it looks like a theatre poster or a newspaper article. And I liked that there was a cast list on the first page, and named chapters, and a map and a glossary and everything. It just felt like MORE than a book, especially when I read the blurb and realised it was based on a true story. And to begin with it was original and interesting! It's about a group of Edwardian child actress ...more
Zoe
Oct 06, 2011 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't settle for historical fiction - yeah, I like history, but sometimes certain parts bore me. But not this book! It is set in 1910 in India. A theatre company travels the world which leads to adventures, secrets and lies, and disasters that lead trouble for Posey and Tilly...

First of all, I must comment on the writing. It is exquisite. I loved the metaphors and descriptive language used, it is one of the reasons why I didn't want to put the book down. For example; the first line is
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Anthony Eaton
Sep 14, 2010 Anthony Eaton rated it really liked it
Kirsty Murray writes (among other things) historical fiction - it's one of her real passions. I've heard her talk about it on a couple of occasions (actually, I've got vague recollections of the two of us doing a panel on the subject at some-writer's-festival-or-other, but I can't recall any specifics, so it's quite possible that my brain is just making it up.)

In any case, the point is that not only does she write historical fiction, but she writes it beautifully. Reading her books is reading th
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Kirsty (overflowing library)
India dark is a nice little novel set in a historical setting which was an engaging read and would be perfect to give youngsters a real feel for the British Empire around the turn of the century.

The story follows Poesy and Tilly two girls who are part of a travelling act who are enroute to America performing along the way to any audience that will have them.

The thing I really enjoyed about this book the most was that you got a real sense of period from it and a real feeling of life in the far re
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Catherine
Aug 20, 2010 Catherine rated it it was amazing
I've written a review for the Centre for Youth Literature so will post it here once it's published.

Loved this book!

UPDATE: My review is now online on CYL's Read Alert blog. I've copy/pasted it below:

Based on a true story, Kirsty Murray’s latest novel chronicles the misadventures of a troupe of performing children from Melbourne as they tour across Asia and India. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of two young girls; one new to stage life, the other experienced in the ways of th
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Jen
Jul 23, 2011 Jen rated it liked it
Based on the amazing Lilliputian opera company of the late 1800's and early 1900's, whcih toured a group of children who performed reviews for the public. In 1909, the company toured to Asia and India, in what was to be its last ever tour. This fictional version tells the story of Poesy and Tilly, who write alternate chapters. Both girls view events from quite different perspectives, Poesy as quite timid, but sly, and Tilly as quite forthright. I found the characterisation of Poesy to be stilted ...more
Ankur Rastogi
Aug 20, 2012 Ankur Rastogi rated it really liked it
India Dark is a fictional account of a true story of a company called Pollard’s Liliputian Opera Company in Australia. This company did some great tours of the world. The novel is based on its last fateful tour when everything fell apart. What makes the novel interesting is that it has been written from the perspective of two little girls Poesy and Matilda of how they see the events unfold in front of their eyes and what role they play in the eventual closure of the company. The author admits in ...more
Muireann
May 05, 2013 Muireann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Very nearly four stars, this ran out of steam a bit at the end - the beginning set up a real anticipation for the climactic court scene, but it fizzled a little bit. Otherwise this was great fun, with two splendidly unreliable narrators recounting a nightmarish theatrical tour of the East in 1909. The cover art is glorious too.
Ella
Jul 26, 2013 Ella rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Like, ever. I wasn't too sure about it at first, but the pace of the story starts to quicken and you really just can't put it down. The story is one based on a true story, and follows around Poesy and Tilly of the Lilliputian Opera Company, as they travel around India for a tour.
A brilliant book. and I can't recommend it enough!!!
Rania T
Sep 30, 2015 Rania T rated it really liked it
Kirsty Murray's forte is historical fiction that touches on Australia's everyday forgotten past. This novel has been meticulously researched, and its atmospheric tone underpins a narrative of strained relationships, rumours and cultural conditioning told from the point of view of two girls exploited by child labour, Tilly and Poesy.
Chantal
Apr 07, 2012 Chantal rated it it was ok
Shelves: asian-fiction
Australian author, story (based on real events and characters) begins in Australia in the early 1900s. Rather bleak story, told in alternating fashion by two young girls, about life in a travelling troupe and their lack of rights.
Samantha
May 19, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, historical
An interesting read! A troupe of interesting characters and wonderful settings. The only read problem with this book for me was the conclusion - I personally feel the "what happened afterwards" chapter was disappointing, but interesting at the same time. Overall, great and would recommend this!
Rebecca McNutt
Maeve's story is both unfortunate and hopeful at the same time, and one that no reader could forget. Imagine being moved from a whole other continent and culture, away from everything you know, with only your dreams to have? India Dark was a well-written and gripping, an amazing story.
Ellie Dowling
Nov 01, 2012 Ellie Dowling rated it liked it
this book takes me on a eventful journey across India. so many different things happen across this book all the time. the only things that i regret about this book is that in the end she does not end up with the magician but some other which is a shame
Anne Williams:)
Feb 23, 2016 Anne Williams:) rated it liked it
Set in the 1880s about a troop of children and teenagers who travel the world entertaining people with song and dance shows. Disasters and secrets are part of this story which is an insight into a world that did exist at that time.
Erin
Sep 30, 2010 Erin rated it it was amazing
this is the best book ever totally amazing
Erika
Nov 12, 2013 Erika rated it liked it
Based on a true story, which is what made it interesting to me. The book itself was ok, but got a little tedious.
Sarah
Nov 26, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
I really didn't care for it. I thought a little more highly of it after I found out that it was based on a true story...
Emma
Dec 05, 2010 Emma rated it really liked it
Great story based on true events.
Pat
Pat rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2010
Joanne
Joanne rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2015
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19157
Kirsty Murray is an author of nineteen books for young people. She has been a Creative Fellow of the State Library of Victoria, an Asialink Literature Resident in South India and writer-in-residence at the University of Himachal Pradesh. Her tribe of grown up-kids live all around the world so she travels a lot to catch up with them. She lives in Melbourne in a big old ramshackle house with an over ...more
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