A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this because I hadn't read Forster in probably 15 years and wondered if I would still think he was "all that" in a novel I'd never read. The answer is: "Oh yes!" This was a beautiful, sweet, sad story that hooked me quickly and kept me rapt until the end.
What I think is Forster's brilliance is first, his uncanny understanding of British mindsets and classes at the turn of the century, but more importantly his understanding of human nature. It's as if he plucks real characters out of the world and sets them in a fictional setting and then just lets the wheels turn and the story play itself out.
In this novel, particularly, I appreciated how I didn't feel manipulated into thinking one person or group was right and another was wrong. Characters were portrayed in all their human-ness, in the same ways that we all encompass elements of good and bad, right and wrong.
The last thing about Forster that I enjoyed rediscovering was just the beautiful prose. I kept feeling around for a highlighter pen and had to curb the impulse since it was a library book! Just gorgeous writing.
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