Thursday's Children

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Margaret Rumer Godden was born in Sussex, but grew up in India, in Narayanganj Many of her 60 books are set in India Black Narcissus was made into a famous movie with Deborah Kerr in 1947.Godden wrote novels, poetry, plays, biographies, and books for children For information, see the official website

✯ [BOOKS] ⚣ Thursday's Children By Rumer Godden ✼ –
  • Paperback
  • 249 pages
  • Thursday's Children
  • Rumer Godden
  • English
  • 13 October 2019
  • 9780440987901

10 thoughts on “Thursday's Children

  1. says:

    Books about ballet I read whenever I find them, and this one, I simply inhaled I don t know why I didn t come across this one years ago but then Rumer Godden has not always been a easy find in this country by the time I was cruising the library shelves, a lot of her books had gone the way of the library discard and weren t replaced.The upside is the delight when I do discover them, and this book I read cover to cover in spite of a headache I shouldn t have been reading at all, but I couldn t resist this tale of Doone Penny, a boy obsessed with ballet, and his complicated sister Crystal, who is groomed from babyhood to be the family star.Nobody is a two dimensional white or black hat, and the extremely competitive world of ballet is examined unflinchingly, and yet with not only passion, but insight into what drives artists of any kind to make the choices they do.

  2. says:

    Thursday s Children should be read as part of our greater Rumer Godden revival I dug it out of the misc female authors pile by the desk when I was looking for something exquisitely beautiful to read a few weeks ago The only other adult book I ve read of Ms Godden s was The Lady and the Unicorn, which turns out to be her first and worst book, but Holly and Ivy is one of the best Christmas orphan stories of all time Christmas orphans and the Japanese doll books are incredible Thursday s Children is certainly a book for grown ups with grown up comments and asides, but it is about children, which makes me wonder why anyone bothers with adult fiction when it s about children half the time anyway It s structured in an interesting way, the only other place I ve seen this is The Secret Garden, where one character arc spans half the book until its resolution when another character picks up the plot torch and runs another hundred pages to the end Thursday s Children is without the last Hail Mary redemption of the hunchback father pass that rounds out Secret Garden Concerning the Penny family, they re a greengrocer and wife in North London sometime back when the people were simple but middle class affluence was creeping in Mrs Penny desperately wants a daughter whom she can groom to be a famous dancer Four sons later, she finally gets her daughter, Crystal, who is absolutely beautiful and everything her mother ever wanted and, while she s busy turning Crystal into Honey Boo Boo, she becomes accidentally pregnant with something she has no interest at all in and he ends up named Doone, as the parents were going to call him Lorna had he been a girl Nobody wants Doone or bothers about him much except Beppo, the Italian tumbler who lives in the shed Besides Beppo, with his early admonitions to keep limber and practice every day, Doone is a parasite on the side of whoever s stuck minding him, like Crystal who makes him carry her shoes when she goes to dance lessons at Madame Tamara s, where Doone is first enchanted by the ballet Mrs Penny is aggressive about Crystal s supposed prodigy and Doone tags along until he s accidentally noticed, and from then on Mrs Penny makes them a package deal Everyone hides this from Mr Penny, who, when he does find out, can say that ballerinos are queers and he ll have none of it, because this is a book for grown ups Doone is bereft, but his life is one of exclusion and hard knocks so any one setback isn t as shattering as a combination of all the other setbacks together His arc continues back to ballet school and up to the school of the Royal Ballet where he s finally found his place, and Crystal s story takes over She s bound and determined to do something but she s also a moody adolescent whose passion isn t really ballet even though she s almost as talented as Doone and she s been raised to think she s the best She s a bit spoiled and she s also in love with Yuri the special guest teacher at the Royal Ballet And Crystal is great Doone remains a child to the end of the book, he s still eleven or so, but Crystal manages to turn Thursday s Children into an awkward, early adolescent bildungsroman and it s perfect.http 20

  3. says:

    This is one of Rumer Godden s books which focus on the world of ballet dancing, which she knew well from her own personal experience We see the story of a brother and sister, one of whom is clearly born a dancer and one who is moved by other motivations but nonetheless who is also focused on dance Godden s work, as always, can be heartbreaking in places but that is a result of her innate honesty This is one of my favorite of her books and showcases her fine writing.

  4. says:

    Rumer Godden is a good story teller from my childhood and frequent trips to the Alvin Bolster Ricker Memorial LIbrary and Community House in Poland, Maine, where any book about a place that wasn t Poland, Maine was exciting Her writing is just that plain old good story telling She s sort of Anne Tyler with less bitter in the sweet, Rosamund Pilcher in 150 fewer pages, Mary Stewart without the heavy romance, Angela Thirkell without the uppercrust I like her, but I d almost completely forgotten about her, until I found two books by her at the church rummage sale in December, and here she is back First off, this edition of THursday s Children has, hands down, the ugliest cover I have ever had the misfortune of seeing I am not an artist, and I am pretty sure I could draw a normal looking child s face than the one adorning both front and back of the book I finally removed the paper cover and threw it away far to painful to look at Secondly, the story focused on ballet, and two kids in the same family who love it As I think back through it, I realize that the characters are quite flat, the characterization virtually always direct, and Doone and his sister Crystal are both unrealistic children, but I looked forward to curling up with the book for a few evenings The book was published in 1984, which startled me it feels like it was written in the 30 s 50 s for some reason Anyway A pleasant read, so three stars it is

  5. says:

    Unexpectedly charming I loved this book, although I actually didn t care much for Billy Elliott which obviously tells a similar story.

  6. says:

    This was one of my favorite books when I was young, and I m happy to say that it is still just as great when reading it as an adult If you like Billy Elliot, you ll definitely love this.

  7. says:

    Rumer Godden is the author of over sixty works of fiction and non fiction, for both children and adults Virago have recently reprinted a handful of her books to add to their impressive canon of women s fiction First published in 1984, Thursday s Children is amongst the newest offerings As its title suggests, this novel is based upon the childhood rhyme Monday s Child , in which Thursday s child has far to go a definite precedent for the story which Godden has woven Thursday s Children focuses upon a young boy named Doone Penny, who was born to dance His sister Crystal, also a dancer, receives much of the attention in the Penny family, and Doone s brothers and father look upon him with something akin to contempt at times, believing that any boy who enjoys ballet is the worst kind of sissy He is the youngest child in rather a large family, a surprise baby who was born to a mother who wanted her beloved daughter, born after four boys, to be her last To be the youngest in a family is supposed to be enviable, but that is in fairy tales with four older brothers and an important older sister, Doone rarely had a chance to speak From the start, Doone is not treasured as he should have been he was an unsatisfactory child he was persistently ragamuffin, his socks falling down, his shoes scuffed he was often puzzled and, often, when spoken to seemed curiously absent, too dreamy to be trusted with the simplest message He was to be a failure at school every term a worse report did not learn to read properly till he was ten and was so silent that he seemed to Ma secretive.The first part of the novel opens with Doone s spoilt elder sister complaining about having to take her brother along to the dance class which she attends Since his early childhood, Doone has been largely ignored by those around him, and even his mother sees him as somewhat of a burden He is an incredibly musical child and is taught to play the mouth organ when a tiny little boy by a wonderfully crafted little man named Beppo who helps out in his father s North London grocery shop When Beppo is forced to leave his employment, Doone realises that now there was nobody who wanted him When the eldest brother, Will, suggests that he should be given lessons in his beloved mouth organ as it is unfair that the majority of the family s money is spent on Crystal and her dancing, Ma Penny says, when, in a family, one child has real talent, the rest have to make some sacrifice.Doone s own love of dancing is realised when he is given the opportunity to attend a professional ballet performance with his mother He begins to have clandestine dance classes along with four other London boys It is a coming of age novel of the most satisfying type We see Doone, our protagonist, grow before our eyes, and triumph over the situations and family members which try to overcome him.Dance runs throughout the entire book, as one might expect given the storyline However, Godden has gone further than merely to write about dance Indeed, the novel is presented as something akin to a theatre programme, outlining the cast list before it begins, and opening with a Prelude , which sets out the World Premiere of Yuri Koszorz s Leda and the Swan Here, Doone has been cast as a cygnet No boy of that age, in Mr Max s remembrance, had been entrusted with dancing a solo role in a ballet at the Royal Theatre Despite this prelude merely being Doone s dream, these nice touches to the book launch us straight into the life of the ballet.Godden s writing is marvellous She weaves an absorbing story and intersperses it with touching anecdotes about its characters, pitch perfect dialogue and the loveliest of descriptions The settings which she uses come to life in the mind of the reader It was only a prelude the music changed, the clouds came down, and Doone could feel an almost magnetic stir in the audience beyond the orchestra pit , and the Royal Theatre, for an English born dancer, was not only the Mecca, the peak of ambition, but also home Her love of dancing and the theatre shines through on every page the music, the lights, the little girls it seemed to him a hundred little girls all in party dresses and dancing shoes, moving to the music in what seemed to him a miracle of marching, running, leaping Her character descriptions, too, give us a real feel for the leading men and women of the book It was difficult to believe Pa had once been a romantic young man who, when he was not learning to be a greengrocer, willingly went without tea or supper to go to a musical or a revue.

  8. says:

    Set in London, England in an undesignated time, though clues point to late 1960s or early 1970s , Thursday s Children is a double narrative of two young dancers, Doone and his older sister Crystal Crystal is the much doted upon daughter of the middle class Penny family, the long desired girl following four older brothers Doone is her younger brother an unwelcome afterthought child decidedly unplanned for and viewed with bemusement and a shade of resentment by Maud Ma Penny, whose family yearnings were than fulfilled by Crystal s appearance Turns out that Ma was once a dancing chorus girl her ambitions for Crystal are much grander nothing but ballet lessons with the Russian Madame Tamara who incidentally started out life as plain old English Minnie Price will do Doone, dragged along by an unwilling Crystal to her Saturday morning dance classes, falls in love with the music and the movement, and away our story goes on its predictable little track.Rumer Godden proceeds to work her charms with the material at hand Doone is almost too good for belief not only is he a piano playing prodigy and a natural dancer, he is a thoroughly sweet, sensitive, and likeably nice child as well, despite his family s dual neglect and bullying Doone, unsupported by his own family in his quest, is providentially blessed with a series of understanding artsy unrelated adults who instantly recognize his budding genius and smooth his path at every turn I find that though his dogged goodness occasionally annoys, in general I quite like Doone he shows occasional flashes of wit and bad temper which redeem him from total Little Loud Fauntleroyism.Crystal, on the other hand, is a far from likeable child Vain, fickle and scheming, she manipulates everyone in her little world, especially her besotted mother Jealous of Doone s recognition by their shared teachers, Crystal actively plots his thwarting, though her schemes are immediately recognized by those omnipotent adults as the two siblings rise through the ranks to their eventual placements in the exclusive Royal Ballet School.The characters are allowed to develop in a reasonably natural way, and they surprise us occasionally by their responses, which keeps things interesting though in the main our predictions prove to be correct Crystal is eventually allowed her chance at redemption rather a Rumer Godden specialty she does go to some lengths to allow her characters to show multiple personality facets Rumer Godden herself had a life long involvement with dance, as a long time dance student who returned to England to train as a teacher, eventually running her own dance school in Calcutta, so all of the technical talk rings true Many of the figures in the novel are inspired by actual personages in the British dance world Yuri Koszorz is a direct take off of Rudolf Nureyev, and the author has dedicated the book to the legendary Ninette de Valois.This is a novel in which nothing much happens the characters are important mostly to themselves and their adventures are the small adventures of ordinary people, but as a simple story competently told it can be counted as one of Rumer Godden s satisfying minor novels.

  9. says:

    I absolutely loved this book Donne is the youngest of 6 children and by watching his sister s dancing lessons realises he loves to dance But he s got to convince his parents he s good and deserves lessons and that s not easy when you are youngest and your parents don t have much money.I would have loved this in my childhood and it reminds me of Noel Streatfeild who was one of my favourite authors growing up It s well written, has brilliant characters and explores family relationships, and the dancing industry.A brilliant read for any child and any adult and a must read for fans of Noel Streatfeild.

  10. says:

    Really fine coming of age novel, story of family life, examination of child parent and sibling relationships, valuable look at the education and growth of gifted children..and all that makes it sound terribly worthy and dull Not so Very good story, and this author never over writes May be her best book.Often has her work categorized as children s or young adult because she often writes about children Does this make sense to anyone out there

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