The Lilliputians
Kirsty Murray
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
young zubaan
relationships friendship adventure
Realistic Fiction


The novel, "The Lilliputians" by Kristy Murray is based on a true story of an Australian theater troupe called the Pollard's Lilliputian Opera Company that successfully toured the world in the 1880s.

The gripping narrative unfolds in the most enthralling manner as the troupe sails across countries and continents. In this journey friendships are made and broken, innocence is lost and found, truths are manipulated and love is longed for as each of the character passes through physical and mental torture and pain and experiences their fair share if troubles and turmoil.

The most interesting part of this novel, that makes it all the more relatable to young readers, is that it is narrated through the voices of two young Lilliputian girls, Poesy Swift (13) and Tilly Sweetrick ( 15), who bring out two different perspectives to the novel, offering the readers a deeper understanding of what actually went on in in the lives and minds of each of the Lilliputian in reality.

However, what takes the cake is the mystical representation of the land of India in the novel. It is not the first time that an Occidental author has described India as a mystic land of elephants, magic and holy men, but in this novel Murray uses this aspect as a catalyst that makes the kids realize their inner potential as well as the magic and the power, that lies within them, which helps them to rise against the wrong and stand up for the right. This is how the kids fight the "butcher", their terrible and beastly troupe manager, Mr. Arthur and rebel and struggle to win back their lost freedom and lost homes in the courts of Madras in 1910. Thus through their individual efforts and God's help, they again sail back to their homes in Melbourne, Australia.

But the most important take-away from this inspiring piece of literature is the fact that, in the novel, Murray shows India as the place where truth resides and where reality is understood in the truest form. It is through her experiences in India and her meeting with Annie Beasant that Poesy realizes that there can never be one absolute truth, but finds out that multiple realities exist. And it is in India that she gathers the courage to face the truth and the reality of the theater troupe which she constantly eludes. This is how she understands that truth is the ultimate way of life which leads a person to a happier existence. However almost as an afterthought, she realizes that many versions of the truth still lie under wraps and are not completely exposed. This is how life is.

Reviewed by Sarah Shaikh