This story is significantly different to the film, and during the early parts of the story I found myself very aware of the author's waspish and cynical observations about British society from the point of view of the elderly. But this outlook upon life should not really come as a surprise, from the author of the novel "Piggy" - the only other novel of Deborah Moggach's which I have read. Several of the elderly protagonists in this story have self-absorbed, materialistic, feckless chldren and that seems to be the key to their plight - a rather grim view of the human race. In fact the author sustains this bleak tone through most of the book, in sharp contrast to the film which seems to be instead a celebration of life and its potential for us even at an advanced age. The vibrancy of India occasionally acts to offset this mood in the novel and eventually there is a positive and heartwarming finish.
I bought this book, not expecting it to be exactly like the film, but similar all the same. How glad I am that I watched the film first as I would never have gone to see it after reading this book. It bears a very slight resemblance to the film; the characters are confusing ... two having the same name .... and they have very little similarity to those found on the screen.
I am glad I read it even if I'm still somewhat confused but maybe that will sort itself it in a few days' time?
If you buy this book because you enjoyed the film, you may end up as confused as I feel.