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Posted June 8, 2005
In writing this review, I must declare an interest. I am the David mentioned in Mrs. Scott¿s book, who helped to arrange her visit to India and accompanied her on the trip. However, that is as far as it goes. I had nothing to do with the writing of the book, for which Barbara Scott should take the full credit that her work so richly deserves. The writing of this text was clearly a difficult task for Barbara, both emotionally and editorially. Emotionally, she was returning ¿ after fifty-five years ¿ to her birthplace. She knew not what to expect, nor what she would find. Moreover, she was traveling with, and meeting, people who had only the most tenuous links with her rich and interesting past. That she was, to some extent, able to overcome her deep concerns and misgivings, is a testament to her resolution and her memories, as well to her authorship. It was also due, in part, to the welcome that she received from those in India who, for the most part, knew Barbara and her family only indirectly and from distant memory. That she found much physical, as well as deeply personal, evidence of her personal history was a matter of great wonder and joy for her. There were, naturally, a few tears as well. Editorially, Barbara set out to write a text that blended exciting recollections of her recent journey with equally colorful memories of her earlier family history. Remarkably, she kept these two interesting streams of thought separately in her mind, whilst allowing them, concurrently, to be blended like the parts of a symphony. The result was, indeed, as delightful as a musical composition. Moreover, as it is written down, it does not merely pass fleetingly through the mind, as of a listener. It can, instead, be referred to again and again. This is, indeed, a book that requires more than a single reading to imbibe its full flavor. Before this trip, I had visited India many times, in connection with my work. After it, and especially upon reading Barbara¿s book, I have re-visited this interesting country in entirely new ways, previously unknown to me. It continues to be a rich experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.