Monday, 28 September 2015

Book Review - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #2

Amazon UK
Title: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Author: Deborah Moggach
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 16th February 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

Enticed by advertisements for a luxury retirement home in India, a group of strangers leave England to begin a new life. 

On arrival, however, they discover the palace is a shell of its former self, the staff are more than a little eccentric and the days of the Raj appear to be long gone.

But, as they soon discover, life and love can begin again, even in the most unexpected circumstances.

I had no real idea of what to expect from this book. Obviously I was aware of the hype surrounding not only the book, but also the films, but having not read or watched them, besides featuring old people I had no real pre-conceptions. Well apart from expecting the book to be about a hotel, and not a new brand of care home. 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, stars with Ravi and Pauline, and them trying to deal with Pauline's father Norman living with them after he had been kicked out of another care home. This brings with it a lot of challenges as Norman is a larger than life sort of a man, with no regard for anything. 

Ravi and his cousin Sonny, decide that due to the way Indian;s care about the elderly and strong family values that they should start their own care home, in India. What Ravi is unaware of, is that Sonny may have cut some corners with the staffing of the venture. 

During part 1 of the book we are introduced a large amount of characters, and we learn of their circumstances leading to them deciding to move to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Bangalore, India. It was into part 2 where they are already residents, that the book starts to come to life. 

I loved all the descriptions of Bangalore, and its surrounding area, and the bazaar, the call centre employees, which made me slightly more sympathetic in theory to the cold callers you get, and the legless beggar. 

Discovering how the various residents were adapting to life in India was amusing, and I think Evelyn was easily my favourite resident. I felt sorry for her, with the way her children treat her, but she was willing after a bit of a shaky start to fully embrace the Indian life style. 

There was also the married couple, who were always off out exploring the area, the lady who wanted to marry a rich Mahrajah, the woman who when you first meet her seems a bit racist, the former BBC video maker, who is now lonely and many other wacky characters. 

The more books by Deborah Moggach I read, the more impressed I am by her writing, and the sheer believability of this book was impressive. 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, shows that life begins at 70, and that you really should treat the older generation with some respect. I enjoyed the story, once I got to grips with it, and if you didn't like a particular viewpoint, it wasn't long before you were focused on someone else again.  I am going to be very interested when I eventually see it, to see the differences between the film and the book. 

Thank you to everyone (all 5 of you) who recommended I read this book, in last weeks Rachel Reads Randomly vote. Unfortunately due to me having a ridiculously hectic week this week, I am not running a vote this week, but the feature will be back next Monday, so please keep a look out. 

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