These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach

These Foolish ThingsThis is the book that the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was based on. But one must be prepared to have a very different experience with this lovely story. The book has 13 or more main characters and begins with the backstories of many of them…so doesn’t really get to the “hotel” (a retirement home for mainly Britishers) in India until about a third of the way in to the story. It’s full of more insight about the sights, smells, temperature, people, and culture of India than the movie had, so for that reason I found it enlightening. But I think you’d have to be in the right mood to hang in there with so much of the streams of consciousness of elderly people who feel abandoned by their loved ones and are wondering what is left for them in life and going through normal human difficulties in making new friends and adapting to a new country. Full of humor, sadness, discomfort, and love, I think it really could have taken place almost anywhere there is a group home for the oldest among us.

Reviewed by Laura R.

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