Books: Havoc in Kashmir

KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE (282 pp.)—Rumer Godden—Viking ($3.50).

At 45, English Novelist Rumer Godden is a success. The author of ten novels, several of them about India, she fashions neat plots, her dialogue sparkles, her people have a reasonable resemblance to living beings. Since she usually muffles her main point in soft-focus symbolism, it is not always possible to say with assurance what it is that Novelist Godden is trying to say. Nonetheless, her last two books have sold close to 275,000 copies, and her A Breath of Air was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1951.

Her new novel. Kingfishers Catch Fire, is a...

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