All the Fishes Come Home to Roost
By Rachel Manija Brown
When Rachel was six, in the early 80s, her parents whisked her off from LA to join an ashram in a backwater town in India. They were followers of Meher Baba, best known for the slogan 'Don't worry, be happy'. She was the only foreign child in a 100-mile radius and the ashram was populated by holy madmen and unhinged aging hippies. As if that wasn't enough to contend with, Rachel, the daughter of Jewish Baba-lovers, was bundled off to the Bleeding Heart School, a last vestige of the British Empire staffed by nuns with a penchant for keeping their charges standing in the midday sun until they fainted.Surrounded by adults who were patently mad, Rachel buried herself in comics, tamed the local wildlife and spent a lot of time avoiding her mother.By turns moving, jaw-droppingly strange and very very funny, this is a brilliant memoir of a distinctly odd childhood that lingers in the mind and demands to be recommended to all your friends.