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Winner of the Virginia Prize for Fiction
Kipling and Trix tells the story of two lives. Filled with drama, they share a childhood darkened by terrors that will colour the years to come, as brother and sister take very different paths.
As small children Ruddy Kipling, rising six, and Trix, his three-year-old sister, are sent home from India for safety to a foster family, the Holloways.
There Ruddy meets with sadistic cruelty while Trix, reluctant, but too young to do without a grown up to trust, can’t stop herself becoming close to Mrs Holloway.
It will be seven years before they see their parents again. How will these experiences form them? What will they take from them into their lives as they grow up? Both are determined to be writers, both will expect to marry.
But back in India, where each returns, the opportunities for a young man are very different from those open to a girl. In no time, Ruddy is exploring the exotic possibilities of Lahore, where he works as a journalist, while his short stories are making him a name across India and beyond. But already flashes of the rage that will lead him to make disastrous moves later are causing problems with the authorities.
For Trix, it’s more urgent to find a husband. Beautiful and sought after though she is, Trix isn’t equipped to make a good choice.
What will happen to her dream of being a writer and will her honest account of an unhappy marriage be welcome in all quarters? Taking up spiritualism, she ignores warnings that she’s putting herself in danger; while her brother’s passionate devotion to his children leaves him vulnerable too, in spite of his international success as a writer.
Can brother and sister survive the different catastrophes that befall them as adults and find the resilience to start over again?
Based on extensive research, Kipling and Trix makes emotional sense of these extraordinary and courageous lives, presenting them here together for the first time.
A Note From the Publisher
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'A historical delight' - Waterstones
'Hamer's book opens up the complex world of the Kiplings, moving between continents and momentous world events' - Daily Mail
'Illuminating new study... She writes clearly, pleasantly, and with a blessed absence of jargon.' - Times Literary Supplement
'Mary Hamer's Kipling and Trix elegantly walks the borders between fact and fiction in her retelling of Rudyard Kipling's story and his relationship with his sister Trix' - Historical Novel Society
'The childhood scenes are particularly compelling, revealing how brother and sister, though dependents, were gradually becoming rivals....The book is a rich collage of potent scenes - you shift viewpoint and we see Rud and Trix through the eyes of many others.' - Pam Johnson, Words Unlimited
About Mary Hamer
Mary Hamer is a regular on the literary festival scene and is frequently invited to talk about the incredible depths of research that went into the creation of Kipling & Trix. Mary's fifth book but first novel, Kipling & Trix shot to critical acclaim very quickly (including The Virginia Prize for Fiction) and remains the only novel that tells the true and compelling story of two lives that were full of incident, even tragedy, moving between continents and momentous world events. Kipling & Trix is the only fictionalised treatment of this famous writer's entire life, and the only work of any kind that tells the story of his sister, Trix, alongside that of Rudyard.