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A Passage to India
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Archived > February 2020 Book Selection - A Passage to India

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La Tonya  Jordan | 654 comments Mod
Welcome to February πŸ’• Post your thoughts and/or comments regarding the BOTM here.

Enjoy Reading,
La Tonya πŸ“š


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments I'm up to chapter 5, and it is really quite interesting. I last read a E.M. Forster book ten years ago, and I forgot how beautiful and descriptive his writing can be. You do have to keep track of the characters though, because you change perspective a heck of a lot! I find it very interesting how Forster has the native Indians and the conquering English thinking about each other. One line stuck in my head, where an English gentleman tells his lady to remember she was superior to all of the Indians, except for one or two who were simply equals. It actually saddens me, that people thought in such a way. I'm from South Africa, so I know how that kind of speech can turn into big divides and hatred for the occupying force. But, I am enjoying this book, I can't believe I haven't read it before.


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments I'm on chapter 7 now. There really are some colourful characters in this book. So far Aziz is my favourite.


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments I'm on Chapter 10. I wish someone was reading with me.
I really don't like Ronnie, he is a real little pain in the you know what. He'll do anything to blend in with the other beaurocratical [my spelling has left me] Englishmen, even if it is haughty and deplorable behaviour. According to me he is a very weak individual and I have no idea why Adilla wishes to marry him.


Susan | 8 comments I'm reading! On chapter 19. I find these characters interesting. And I'm learning quite a bit - it may be fiction but I had no idea of the pervasive discriminatory attitudes prevalent during that time period, from both sides.
A little disappointed in Mrs. Moore - at the beginning I had hoped she would be more of a wise, cultivated presence. I wonder if Forster is building up to something with her. And I'm not thrilled with Ronny either, but Miss Quested's personality is so wishy-washy and vapid it is a bit irritating.


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments Chapter twenty now.
I agree with you Susan. I was hoping for more from Mrs. Moore and Ms. Quested is a character I'd very much like to squish. At least Mr. Fielding seems like a good sort. I just hope things turn out good for Aziz, I really like him.


Susan | 8 comments I like both Fieldling and Aziz and it is interesting how their friendship has evolved!


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments Chapter 24 now.
I just don't understand why Forster is incapable of writing a strong female character. They are all annoying and vapid. There was a chance for mrs. Moore, but he destroyed it.


Sarah B | 90 comments I started reading A Passage to India  by E.M. Forster a little while ago. I'm on page 12. But I tend to read books quickly. I have to look up a few unfamiliar words like tonga and purdah but otherwise it's going good.


Sarah B | 90 comments I'm on page 57. Chapter VI.

Umm...why does the Major expect Aziz to sit home and wait to be summoned all of the time? The man is a doctor and even if he wasn't, he has things to do. You can't sit home 24 hours and wait just in case someone might summon you! It's very ridiculous! I don't like the Major because of how he treats Aziz. Invited him over and then he's not home when Aziz arrives! Very rude!!


Sarah B | 90 comments Well now I'm on page 85 and about to start chapter VIII.

I must say I like Aziz but I also don't understand him very well. He seems to lie a lot and say things he does not mean or that are not true. Like he invited the ladies to his house but he had no real intention of actually having them visit his house. So why did he invite them then? He should not be handing out false invitations. He didn't have to invite them over at all. Then he tried to get out of it by talking about some caves.

He did something similar earlier in the book too, made up a false story about going to the post office when he actually felt sad about be his wife's death. Then he made up some other story to cover the post office one, something about someone having to be home all of the time or else he would get robbed.

I guess I don't understand him or why he makes up these stories. It's not like he's using a phrase like "the sky was as black as India ink"... He's seems friendly but he also seems to have a problem with telling the truth.

I can understand why he might cover up the sadness about his wife's death but not the false invitations to his house. It's pretty hard to invite someone to your house by accident! So why does he invite them over but then expect them to know it's not a real invitation?? That doesn't make sense to me.


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments Chapter 27
Forster has an amazing talent for making you dislike every character of his by the end of things, even those you previously liked. I find it very annoying.

Sarah, I think Aziz is a impulsive person and invited the ladies out of excitement in the situation, then he remembered where he lived and realised it would be a bad idea. I think that is much of his personality impulsive excitement.


Sarah B | 90 comments Thanks for your ideas about Aziz. I think maybe you are correct or else there is some cultural difference between the native Indians and the British. Because Aziz was surprised that the one lady took his words (the invitation) at face value. He seemed to think that the words should not be taken literally. There was an earlier incident with another family, something about visiting on Thursday but they were going on a trip.

Anyway I'm on page 221 now. Chapter XXII. I'm really enjoying the story now as we are in "act 2" or whatever you call it. Part 2? I'm glad the plot has picked up and has gotten a lot more interesting, as the first part was rather dull.

I have an idea what might have happened in the cave. It should be interesting to see if I'm right or not. I've never read this before and truthfully had zero idea even what the book was about before I started it. Only thing I knew is that it took place in India.

This is my idea:

(view spoiler)

So I will read on to see if I'm right.


message 14: by Sarah (last edited Feb 16, 2020 08:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah B | 90 comments Well I have finished the book. I feel sorry for Adela. I think because of her youth and being in a dark cave (and her health) she freaked out, got scared and made some horrible mistakes. Then she ended up paying for them. But she was very brave and did the right thing later. But her honesty had cost her a lot..

The end of the book was rather dull and I really didn't care for it too much (part 3 I mean). The long middle section titled "caves" was the best.


Sarah B | 90 comments Oh and I think Adela is the only character I can relate to in this book. Many of the others seem to be ruled by herd mentality.

And I prefer this type of herd 🐎 instead of the human herd mentality that's shown in the book. They basically ostracized the poor girl because of a mistake she made. And that's awful and cruel.


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments I liked all your ideas Sarah. :) I'm still stuck on chapter 27, trying to force myself to finish, because I'm really not that impressed. But, I can tell you that this happens in every book of Forster's, except for Maurice. I was hoping this one would be different. I know Adila was brave, but she is still a rather weak and annoying character. Forster seems incapable of writing a truly stron female character. I'm not sure if this is his failing or if it is the failing of society during the time he lived.


Sarah B | 90 comments Well not all women are strong. Some women are the opposite because of their up bringing. I think this is the case with Adela. She probably lived a very sheltered life. Or else others bossed and pushed her around so she was taught to be meek.. I can relate to Adela very well. I have also wondered if Adela has PTSD.. the fact she doesn't remember entirely what happened in the cave might point to it. It could also explain the odd buzzing in her ears maybe.

I had a very hard time getting through part 3. It just bored me so much! Since the big mystery was solved / over I really didn't care what was going on years later with Aziz. Weird but so true! Reading that part literally was putting me to sleep!

This is the first book I read by the author, that I know of. I don't think I read one in the past.

I think men saw women different during the time period. They were mostly just to have babies and raise kids. But men were in charge..the book does not exactly give a year. I've looked for a year to better understand the setting but I couldn't find one. Not for the story. And even if we know what year the book was written, that doesn't mean the story takes place in that year. Because lots of authors write historical fiction that takes places decades earlier or even in previous centuries.

I think women were seen as weak creatures that fainted easily. There were many things they we're not allowed to do. Like wearing pants like men..

It's nice to have someone to talk about these old classical books to. 😁


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments Yawn! I just finished the book. That last piece nearly made me fall fast asleep. I don't get what the purpose of part 3 was. It added little to the story.
My favourite was part one when everything was still being introduced. I especially enjoyed the meeting of Aziz and Mrs. Moore at the mosque. The author also wrote some beautiful descriptions. Part two was more action packed which was good. But, it was the part that made me dislike all the characters I had previously liked.
I agree that Adela was very brave and the ptsd is a very good possibility, but I just couldn't like her.

I also couldn't find a date for the book. I wanted to know if it was before women got a vote in Britain or after.

If you want to read more E.M. Forster, I suggest Maurice. The others are extremely boring.
I was also happy to have someone to chat to about this book. It makes it more enjoyable. :)


Sarah B | 90 comments What do you think Mrs Moore meant when she said she wanted to see the "real India"? Do you think she meant unique buildings and sweeping landscape? Things that are unique to India? Places like the Taj Mahal? It seems she saw a little of what she wanted on the train ride. I'm glad she got to see a little of what she had wanted before she passed away.

I did enjoy the meeting that Aziz had with Mrs Moore at the mosque. It seems she surprised him by having her shoes off already. 😁

It must be a bit lousy to go to India and then get stuck in the one city and all the entertainment you see is copies of what you saw at home! She might have well stayed in London! If you are going to go that distance you should see exotic stuff, stuff from the culture of India. I've seen some Bollywood movies...maybe Mrs Moore would have liked seeing the local singing dancing routine that you see in those movies? I'm sure while movies didn't exist yet (?) They would have had the singing and dancing. What about snake charming? See the local wildlife?


Kathryn Ford (cathy87) | 91 comments I definitely think Mrs. Moore meant she wanted to see the India untouched by British rule. So, I think that would include the singing and dancing, Mosque and Temple tours, wild life, etc. I believe she wanted her India without the British taint on things. She did get to see some of it, but I don't think it was enough, which eventually turned her bitter. At least Aziz loved her truly, right to the end.

Why do you think Fielding eventually got married, and to a woman who by what he believed wasn't as in love with him as he was with her? What is the point then?


Susan | 8 comments Sorry I missed out on the discussion! I'm almost finished and I enjoyed it for the most part. I've changed my initial opinion of Mrs. Moore, and now find her someone to admire, as I think she was definitely seeking a non-British India, sort of a non-tourist experience, and she was capable of being open to different philosophies. But perhaps she was too open, because when she finally comprehended the meaninglessness of it all, it turned her apathetic and a bit hostile. Maybe she realized she couldn't completely reject the philosophies she had been born into.

I also found it very interesting to read about the attitudes of both cultures during that time period, and I liked the fact that Forster presented both sides and showed not only the wisdom but the idiocy (at times) of both.


Kristin Flor | 10 comments So it took me a bit to get through my book club book, it was a bit long, but finished yesterday. So, here I start A Passage To India today. I chose this as my book choice for Feb because it fit the category, and it was one of the books I haven’t read that is on my book scratch off poster. Hope I like it!


Sarah B | 90 comments I don't know why Fielding got married. Maybe he thought it was the proper thing to do? I know some people feel that way. It might have something to do with society too. Especially in those days. I think it was seen as "proper" to be married and others might look down on people if they weren't?? Sometimes people feel lonely too.

Kristen, I'm sure we can continue to discuss the book next month too - I'm willing to come back here and to continue to talk about it. I hope you like it too. I had liked the middle section the best.


Lindsey Asbury | 1 comments Kristen, I just got this book on hold from my library so I'm just getting started too. We can read it together!


Kristin Flor | 10 comments Omg so forever later I finished this book. This was an extremely hard to get into read for me. I didn’t enjoy his style of writing, the story, and had a super hard time following it. Probably the worst book I’ve ever read. I’m truly glad I’m done with it. Honestly the only reason I finished was for my scratch poster, and even then I could hardly comprehend a thing I was reading. I hope the rest of you liked it more than me and if not thanks for pushing through.


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