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India Dark

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Melbourne, Australia, 1909: faced with the prospect of employment in either the match factory or the jam factory, 13-year old Poesy Swift auditions for a children’s theatre company that specialises in popular music-hall songs.

Before she knows it, she’s on a two-year tour through Asia. At first it’s all an adventure, but by the time they reach south India, many of them have
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Paperback, 326 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Allen & Unwin (first published August 1st 2010)
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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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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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Anthony Eaton
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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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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Hannah
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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Zoe
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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TheBookAddictedGirl
Jan 13, 2012 TheBookAddictedGirl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone Who Loves Scandal, Romance, Acting, History and True-to-Life Fiction
4½ 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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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
Catherine
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
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
Samantha-Ellen Bound
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
Ankur Rastogi
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
Ella
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!!!
Muireann
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.
Samantha
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!
Ellie Dowling
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
Chantal
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.
Sarah
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...
Erika
Based on a true story, which is what made it interesting to me. The book itself was ok, but got a little tedious.
wioblivion
signed by Kirsty Murray at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, October 2010
Erin
this is the best book ever totally amazing
Emma
Great story based on true events.
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Kirsty Murray is an author of seventeen 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 ove ...more
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