THE JOURNEY HOMEWARD by Gerald Hanley

THE JOURNEY HOMEWARD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A big, complex, thoughtful novel about India in 1945, shortly after the withdrawal of the British. There is not much scenery, or extraneous action, and the drama lies in the conflict between several carefully studied characters who represent different attitudes. Since the author takes no sides, but allows each character in turn to be persuasive, the story generates considerable conviction. Miss Bullen represents the British. A missionary for 40 years, she has been unable to convert the poor, slothful, joke-loving Jashimpuris even to cleanliness, and in anger and despair she takes a job tutoring the children of the returning Maharajah, Prabhu. English in spirit and training, Prabhu wants to bring enlightened rule to Jashimpur, but is opposed by the peasant revolutionary, Hassan. In Prab's camp, but against him, is his unhappy wife and his charming, alcoholic brother. On Hassan's side, but broken by Prab's persuasions, are Dr. Kohli, highly educated but neurotic, several sycophants, and a sophisticated Brahmin. After a bloody, sad, comic-operetta revolution, Prab, perhaps about to win, is killed in an earthquake.... Mr. Hanley is an excellent writer, and beneath his absorbing study of the psychology of people and revolutions are, also, many universal truths. Because of its brooding seriousness, and its concentration, it is not for every reader, but it is extremely rewarding.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1961
Publisher: World