These Foolish Things
UK Chatto & Windus (2004, 256 pages)
The film adaptation, called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and starring Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, was released in 2011
When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his disgusting and difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: 'Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.'
His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful - and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.
These Foolish Things is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.