With a British cast of veteran stars, I expected to enjoy the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” and I did. Although all the storylines were resolved happily in the end – a true Hollywood ritual – I wanted to know more about the characters than the two-hour production allowed. So, I sought out the book that inspired the movie – Deborah Moggach’s These Foolish Things.
I found the original but my Kindle changed the title to reflect the movie fame; so far I like it as much as the movie – not only for the descriptions of India but also for the positive spin on getting older. See the movie; read the book.
An Excerpt from These Foolish Things
Sealed into their compound the residents lived in a world which was, in many ways, more familiar than the England they had left behind. It was an England of Catherine Cookson paperbacks and clicking knitting needles, of Kraft Dairylea portions and a certain Proustian recall. Now the summer was over the mali was planting out English annuals – marigolds and cosmea – widely spaced in damp depressions of earth. Evelyn itched to get her hands on the flowerbeds; gardeners here knew nothing about colour and mass.
Outside the walls, India clamoured. So many people, such need and desperation. Evelyn had only ventured out a few times; she found the experience disorientating. The moment she stepped through the gate beggars stirred and clambered to their feet. Skeletal dogs nosed through heaps of rubbish. Even the holy cows, wandering between the cars, were cruelly thin. And then there was the legless young man, sitting on his trolley in the midst of the exhaust smoke.
- ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is predictable but a pleasure (seattletimes.nwsource.com)