Coromandel Sea Change
This is an old-fashioned novel. Once again we are introduced to a young, naive but headstrong woman who is encountering India for the first time and finds her world expanding in unexpected ways. It took me a little while to realise that I have visited the beautiful seaside hotel, Patna Hall, before, in the clumsily-titled novella Cromartie v The God Shiva Acting Through the Government of India, published in 1997 and also featuring wise Auntie Sannie and her loyal lieutenants, Hannah and Samuel. Coromandel Sea Change is more dramatic, featuring a mismatched honeymoon couple, a charismatic young aspiring politician, a slimy journalist and a benevolent diplomatic couple. But it's the tranquil hotel on the beach, surrounded by flowers, that is the real star of this novel.
I don't believe that there is any such thing as a bad Rumer Godden novel, but this is a lesser offering. Still worth a weekend away, but maybe not a lingering stay.