How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Bibliobeth for our book club read and review.
When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: ‘Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.’ His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful – and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.
This is the second book in my sister and I’s ‘Talking About’ reviews. Our first was Bright Young Things which can be viewed here.
Here are our thoughts:
CHRISSI: What surprised you most about the book?
BETH: I’m afraid it had to be the pornography-loving old gentleman, Norman! He was one of the more “icky” characters I have ever come across although it was highly amusing.
BETH: What did you think were the main themes of the book?
CHRISSI: I think the main theme is the elderly generation looking back on their lives, reflecting on what they’ve done with their lives.
CHRISSI: Did the author do a good job of making the characters believable? e.g. do they speak in the right voice for their age group or the time period of the novel?
BETH: I do think all of the characters were believable, the author seemed to find an individual voice for each of them which must be a mammoth task but I think she pulled it off marvellously.
BETH: Which character did you identify with or enjoy reading about the most and why?
CHRISSI: I can’t say I really identified with any of the characters. I thought all of the characters were interesting in some way. They were very quirky.
CHRISSI: Did you think the ending was appropriate?
BETH: I thought it was an appropriate ending considering the themes of the book. It was almost bitter sweet in a way, and warmed the cockles of my heart even more towards the elderly.
BETH: If you were sent to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, how would you react and what would you do?
CHRISSI: I’m not sure how I’d react. I found the book depressing at times. It wasn’t an easy, light read. I think I’d find it quite depressing that I was a ‘burden’ to society.
CHRISSI: Did your opinion of the book change as you read it?
BETH: It did slightly. I feel like it was a bit up and down in places, and I felt myself gravitating between emotions of happiness and sadness depending on the situation.
BETH: Did the book affect you in a personal way, such as offending you or making you uncomfortable? Did you reassess your views on certain topics because of the novel? Do you have a better or new understanding of certain aspects or a new awareness of something you’d never thought of before?
CHRISSI: It didn’t really affect me, but it did make me consider how we treat our elderly in Britain. I also found the older gentlemen’s love of pornography highly amusing. I’m not sure that was the intention.
CHRISSI: Who would you recommend this book to?
BETH: I think most people would enjoy this novel (perhaps not younger adults), it’s not one I loved, but I thought it was quite a sweet and interesting story and I loved the back drop of India as something a bit different and original.
BETH: Would you read something else by this author?
CHRISSI: I’d give it a go! The writing style was good.