A Passage to India
Why this book?
This novel, quite simply, sent me to India! Written in the 1920s when my grandparents were starting married life there, it is a beautifully written but unsettling depiction of British colonial rule. The plot is deceptively simple: was Adela (a naive young woman newly arrived from England) molested in the Marabar Caves by Dr. Aziz (a cultured young Indian acting as her guide)? But the characters are complex and the novel brilliantly illustrates the tensions between the racist rulers and the ruled. I read it as a teenager, and its portrayal of the vividness of the Indian landscape and the vibrancy of its multi-layered culture gripped my imagination. This book is what made me – aged 18 – climb on a bus to India!