We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Kingfishers Catch Fire

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781405512756

Price: £9.99

Select a format:


Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.


‘A haunting tale . . . the whole book burns with the beauty and poetry’ EVENING STANDARD

‘Powerful adult themes underlie the novel’s glimmering surface’ ROSIE THOMAS, GUARDIAN

‘One of our best and most captivating novelists’ PHILIP HENSHER

Sophie Barrington Ward, without a husband, with two children and very little income, is faced with making a new life. She arrives in the Eden of Himalayan Kashmir to set up home in a tumbledown cottage surrounded by flowers and herbs. Settling down to live quietly, frugally and peacefully with her new neighbours, she is unaware of the turmoil her arrival provokes as the villagers compete fiercely for her patronage. Sophie is determined to live with the Indians and like it. Pundit Pramatha Kaul, her wise landlord, shakes his head. Profit David, her merchant friend, warns her. But when Sophie’s cook makes a drastic bid to secure his position, the unwanted consequences are catastrophic . . .

Mesmerising and thoughtful, this Godden’s lesser-known classic evokes India’s uniquely beautiful landscape amidst a timeless tale of misunderstanding.


A haunting tale . . . the whole book burns with the beauty and poetry of a matchless landscape, but the human side of it is wry, delicate and true
Daily Telegraph
Godden's 1953 novel of Colonial India depicts an independent but naive British widow living in a village in Kashmir polarized by conflicting Hindus and Muslims
Publishers Weekly
[Godden has] a genius for storytelling
Evening Standard
Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty
New York Times
Godden has never been out of print
Irish Times
All [Godden's novels] have one important thing in common: They are beautifully and simply wrought by a woman of depth and sensitivity
Los Angeles Times
The Novel Cure for extravagance . . . romanticises frugality in Godden's novel - in a way which is surprisingly contagious
Powerful adult themes underlie the novel's glimmering surface. I devoured them as a teenager, racing through the stories and revelling in the lush landscapes and exotic peoples in the (then) certainty that I would never see them for myself. It's hard to think that I appreciated any of their true qualities. They have repaid rereading as an adult, and they will continue to reward both returning readers and new ones: such is their narrative grip, subtlety and understanding of the human state
Rosie Thomas, Guardian