Miss Timmins’ School For Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
Posted by Caitie F on January 28, 2012
Summary from goodreads:
A murder at a British boarding school in the hills of western India launches a young teacher on the journey of a lifetime PIn 1974, three weeks before her twenty-first birthday, Charulata Apte arrives at Miss Timmins’ School for Girls in Panchgani. Shy, sheltered, and running from a scandal that disgraced her Brahmin family, Charu finds herself teaching Shakespeare to rich Indian girls in a boarding school still run like an outpost of the British Empire. In this small, foreign universe, Charu is drawn to the charismatic teacher Moira Prince, who introduces her to pot-smoking hippies, rock and’ roll, and freedoms she never knew existed.
Then one monsoon night, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff, and the ordered worlds of school and town are thrown into chaos. When Charu is implicated in the murder, a case three intrepid schoolgirls take it upon themselves to solve, Charu’s real education begins. A love story and a murder mystery, Miss Timmins’ School for Girls is, ultimately, a coming-of-age tale set against the turbulence of the 1970s as it played out in one small corner of India
Murder at a boarding school. What can be more exciting or interesting than that? Not much. Add that it takes place in India and is a great coming-of -age story for one of the teachers instead of the student and I had a feeling I would be in love with the book.
And I was. The book had a rich and beautiful setting, not only the physical landscape, but the boarding school and the rigid rules alongside the wildness of Prince and her friends and Carhu’s new feelings and actions.
The two different perspectives were a great addition to the story. It added suspense to the mystery and showed a new perspective to both the investigation and Indian culture.
The only issue with the book is that it was slow at time. Usually that would have annoyed me, but even when it was slow, it showed the life Charu had and how she grew up and the struggles in the suddenly changes and heartbreaks. Her family problems were the second mystery of the book and watching Charu find out the past made everything that was going on in the present even more impactful.
This was a wonderful mystery that is shocking and really fun to read!