My favorite of the E.M. Forster novels I have read, this is a creepy, very modern, incredibly relevant novel.
Definitely a must read for understanding colonial relationships in India, although neither the English or the Indians come out looking very good in this strange tale of cultural misunderstanding.
I have always put it on a short list of turn of the century anti-imperialist novels, along with Heart of Darkness, although Forster's writing isn't half as good as Conrad's (but whose is?).
A very complex novel and cannot be taken at face value. Which is true of all of Forster's novels, I believe - they all have a strange undercurrent of subversity. As with Maugham, I like to attribute some of this to the fact that Forster was gay. Things are not what they seem in his novels, just as he was not always what he seemed in his own life.