A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Guess what my New Year’s resolution was this year?
To have richer reading experiences.

Thanks to that idea, I have given myself a case of reading anxiety. I cannot choose what to read because I want so badly for that book to be the best book ever. Imagine my surprise when the book that is giving the experience I desire, is a book I have read before.

I re-read A Passage to India for my classics book discussion. I do not think I have ever enjoyed a re-read more. When reading a book for the first time, I am so caught up in my expectations that much of the subtlety is lost and even the big picture is obscured by the need to know “what happens next?”

This is a beautifully written classic. The main plot is timeless and easily accessible. The main crux of the book is clearly introduced early in the book and poses the age-old question “Can people from different cultures truly be friends?” It is of course made more complicated since India was currently under the rule of the British Empire. Forster seems to really grasp the fundamental differences (and similarities) between the two cultures not only through the characters he creates, but also through the land he describes so beautifully. It is as if the land and the buildings themselves also become a characters in the book. The characters are all caught in a web of dangerous confusion about what happened that day in the Marabar Caves. And although human nature rears its ugly head, Forster provides occasional comic relief–cleverly delightful and very much needed.

So read  A Passage to India for the first time and/or read it again for a richer more satisfying experience.

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