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0002 | Staying On – Paul Scott

Read this while travelling around SE Asia. Made me want to take off back to India. Also made me wonder at the life my grandmother had prior to leaving India in 1947.
REVIEW:
A moving and poignant portrait of the end of romance; not just that of lovers but also of ideals. A must read for anyone with any Raj connection or a deep love of India. Scott creates very believable characters and weaves their lives together so well in a novel which asks questions of the reader and then provides an array of answers to choose from as it draws to its inexorable climax.

It’s basically a novel about people who have made decisions that they spend the rest of their life questioning, not quite regretting but not quite satisfied with either.

OPENING LINE
When Tusker Smalley died of a massive coronary at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the last Monday in April 1972 his wife Lucy was out, having her white hair blue-rinsed and set in the Seraglio Room on the ground floor of Pankot’s new five-storey glass and concrete hotel, the Shiraz.

WORDS
tocsin: a warning bell
pellucid: more or less transparent

CLOSING LINE
Tusker, how can you make me stay here by myself while you yourself go home?

RATING:
terrible > poor > mediocre > okay > good > very good > excellent > superb

FINISHED:
2006 – Dec

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