ENCHANTED EVENING: Volume III of the Autobiography of M. M. Kaye.

Kaye, M.M. (Mary Margaret.)

ISBN 10: 0312265816 / ISBN 13: 9780312265816
Published by New York: St Martin's, (1999.) dj, 1999
Hardcover
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Hardcover first edition - First US printing. The third volume in the autobiography of M M Kaye, the author of 'The Far Pavilions.' This book begins when Kaye's father takes a new post in China and she is once again forced to leave India. A vividly written and wise look back on a long woman coming into her own in the years before the devastation wrought by the second World War. Illustrated with photographs. Glossary. 368 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 33762

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Bibliographic Details

Title: ENCHANTED EVENING: Volume III of the ...

Publisher: New York: St Martin's, (1999.) dj

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In the first volume of her autobiography, The Sun in the Morning, M.M. Kaye detailed the first eighteen years of her life in India and England and introduced readers to her love affair with India. She brought to life its people, scents, vibrant colors, and breathtaking landscapes. In the second volume, Golden Afternoon, she happily returned to her beloved India after years in a British boarding school. New to the glories of the Delhi social season, M.M. Kaye recounted her delightful exploits as a vivacious young woman in Raj society.

Now, in Enchanted Evening, M.M. Kaye is a young woman forced to leave her cherished home in India when her father takes a new post in china. Though at first disoriented by the unfamiliar customs and confusing protocol of her new surroundings, it is in China that she discovers the pleasures that come from independence. Coming into her own as a painter, Kaye first meets with artistic success in China and then moves to cramped quarters in London's South Kensington neighborhood, where she begins to flourish as a writer.

With vivid descriptions and the wisdom that comes with age, M.M. Kaye looks back on the years she spent as a young woman in a world as yet unmarked by World War II's devastation.

Review:

The third volume of M.M. Kaye's memoirs continues the story of her life in the engagingly chatty style that is familiar from The Sun in the Morning and Golden Afternoon. As this volume begins, Kaye is a young woman in her 20s, apprehensively en route to China in the spring of 1932. She would have preferred to remain in India, her childhood home (and the setting, many years later, for her bestselling novel The Far Pavilions), but her beloved father, who has been dismissed unfairly from the British colonial service, wants to retire in China. Kaye's account of the family's sojourn is colorful and often quite funny, but the mood darkens when they return to India for younger sister Bet's wedding and their father dies shortly thereafter. Kaye goes to England, planning to support herself as an illustrator, but stumbles instead into a career writing mysteries and children's books. The self-effacing author presents this turn of events as a simple stroke of luck, and devotes most of her text to amusing anecdotes and evocative descriptions of landscape, particularly after royalty payments enable her to return happily to India. In the privileged British Raj, politics hardly impinge until World War II begins in 1939, and this ill wind blows good toward our redoubtable heroine, who meets Mr. Right in the shape of an Indian Army officer who is escaping a bad marriage. Even here, Kaye is oh-so-English in her assertion that Lieutenant Godfrey John Hamilton was "only too ready to fall into the arms of almost any unattached woman.... I can only be profoundly and eternally grateful that she happened to be me." The warm humanism and ready wit that are displayed throughout these charming reminiscences will prompt most readers to feel that Lieutenant Hamilton was the lucky one. --Wendy Smith

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