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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781844088522

Price: £7.99

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By the author of Black Narcissus and The Diddakoi comes the moving tale of Dark Invader, a powerful racehorse.

‘One of our best and most captivating novelists’ Philip Hensher

‘[Godden’s]
distinctive, poised and unsentimental books have never lost a shred of their almost hypnotic appeal’ Rosie Thomas, Guardian

‘All horses can walk – some badly, some well, but to a few is given a gift of movement feline in its grace, a slouching, flowing continuous movement that is a joy to watch. Dark Invader strode in glorious rhythm, his great shoulders rolling, muscles rippling along his flanks under the satin skin.’

Dark Invader is a beautifully bred racehorse, but after a disappointing first season he is sold in disgrace and shipped from England to Calcutta. With love and gentle handling, ‘Darkie’ wins the hearts of the people and becomes the firm favourite for India’s most famous race, the Viceroy Cup.

But three days before the race Dark Invader disappears. Can he be found before it is too late?

Dubbed ‘one of the greatest horse books ever written,’ follow Dark Invader’s journey, now available as a Virago Modern Classic.

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Reviews

It's a masterpiece of construction and utterly, realistically convincing - though it has a fairytale element too. Rumer Godden's books are admired for many qualities...but I think her greatest strength is her accurate, unsentimental portrayal of children. Lovejoy, Tip and Sparkey were so real to me that they have stayed alive in my head for more than 50 years...An Episode of Sparrows was the first book that made me cry when I was ten. I cried all over again at this recent reading of the story - and I closed the book with the same sense of total satisfaction
Jacqueline Wilson, New Spectator on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
May well prove the book of the year for those who are not ashamed to weep over the printed page...author Godden here tries her deft writing hand at landscaping a child's heart
Time on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
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
A Bizarre but Exquisite Novel . . . Rumer Godden Has Subtlety and Freshness, Humo[u]r and Charm
Edith H. Walton, New York Times on BLACK NARCISSUS
A small masterpiece, a near perfect account of how childhood has to come to an end and the serpent must enter the garden . . . In The River she celebrates a passion for the people, colours, sounds and even the smells of India . . . She evokes, in simple, flawless prose, a young girl's first encounters with jealousy, sex, guilt and death.
Spectator on THE RIVER
It has a dizzying cast of characters, radiating out from the inhabitants of a once-genteel London residential square to the residents of the teeming commercial streets beyond.
Horn Book on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
[A]n extraordinarily gifted writer who manages to infuse her novels with a special magic of their own
Boston Herald on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
It is a sentimental tale, well told, with an unlikely and entirely satisfactory ending
New Yorker on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
A gentle, poignant story, poetically conceived with a fairy godmother ending. Recommended for all
Library Journal on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
A very remarkable novel indeed. One in a thousand
Observer on BLACK NARCISSUS
It would be impossible for a reader not to feel better from reading the story...her rich understanding of human nature, her humo[u]r and her beautiful prose inevitably leave one aglow
Chicago Tribune on AN EPISODE OF SPARROWS
[Godden's] distinctive, poised and unsentimental books have never lost a shred of their almost hypnotic appeal
Rosie Thomas, Guardian
[Godden has] a genius for storytelling
Evening Standard