‘For most, school begins with crayons, satchels and tears. But for Ananya, it began with smiles and a lipstick.’
This delightful children’s novel recounting a young girl’s adventures in a private boarding school opens by describing the delight of its protagonist Ananya Patel, in attending playschool in London where her teacher gifts her a lipstick, which she later learns was smuggled to her by her parents to trick her into liking school. As Ananya grows so does her love for makeup and school, in that very order. As she enters her teens, Ananya’s life turns topsy-turvy when her father, a successful third generation Indian settled in London, suffers losses to his export-import garments business. Ananya is forced to leave her elite London school and relocate to a State school in Wembley. Ananya’s sunny disposition wins her many friends in her new school and all seems to be well until her parents are summoned to her school following an incident where she back talks to a teacher who shouted at one of her friends. Her parents are persuaded by her aunt to send Ananya to a private boarding school in Uttarakhand which she herself had attended.