The Tea Planter's Children
''The Tea Planter''s Children'' is rich, evocative , gentle and beautiful. It is filled with a child's love of place and nature, and manages successfully to enter the reader into a vanished world. Throughout there is a real feeling of a particular time. It describes a childhood at Arnakal, a tea plantation in the hills of Kerala during the early nineteen-thirties, which were years of recession and high unemployment in England and the rise of Fascism in Europe. In India, Mahatma Ghandi, not yet the revered figure we now remember, was campaigning for Independence. Discussed by their parents, these political goings-on were in the background of the children's lives.
''The Tea Planter's Children'' is a recollection of a childhood spent in a remote place with little contact with other European children, where the freedom they were allowed led to hilarious if sometimes nearly disastrous adventures, and describes the discoveries the children made, the unsuitable pets they tried to keep, the wild animals in the surrounding jungle and the eccentricities of the people they knew, until their final unwilling departure for the unknown country their parents called Home.
Sixty years later, the brother and sister returned to stay once more at Arnakal, to find amid all the time-wrought changes, much that was still familiar and beautiful in the place where they had been born.