Title: Kipling & Trix
Author: Mary Hamer
Publisher: Aurora Metro Publications Ltd.
Date of Publication: 31 October 2013
Number of Pages: 346
Rating: 2.5 stars
Disclaimer: Copy provided free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: As young children, Rudyard Kipling and his sister ‘Trix’ flourished in the brilliant warmth and colour of India. Their happiness ended abruptly when they were sent back to England to live with a strict and god-fearing foster family.
Both siblings became writers, although one lived in the shadow of the other’s extraordinary success. The name Rudyard Kipling is known to millions, but what became of his talented younger sister? She was careful to hide her secret life even from those closest to her. [Goodreads]
Review: Kipling & Trix started well. I could visualise the family setting and the movements across continents to India. The children being returned to England to save them from outbreaks of fever was also gripping to read. The flow continued up until the foster father, Captain Pryse Agar Holloway, died – at which point, the novel became hard work. It is extraordinary that a person, written as a minor character, was doing all the work of holding the narrative together.
From about 25% onwards, I felt I was reading a fleshed out Wikipedia entry. Having read the relevant Wikipedia pages, I feel no more attraction to read them than the rest of the book. “Ruddy” is obnoxious and Trix is dull and tedious. Descriptions I should not be able to apply to them. This novel feels, to me, like a biography with fictional elements interlaced within. I believe this book would have worked better as a biography but this could be some of Hamer’s previous stylistic endeavours appearing. I don’t know what it is but something just doesn’t work.
Overall, this work was bitterly disappointing.