The Barrier Author:Robin Maugham A novel containing five sonnets by John Betjeman written in the style of the period — India in the 1890s... a land of steaming jungles and ice-cold mountains, of bleak deserts and scented gardens where fierce racial hatred exists between Hindus and Muslems and where an elaborate system of caste divides the people while famine and disease spread o... more »ver the land. It is the heyday of the British raj and the British rule.
Into this world enters a lovely young woman, fresh from an English farm and idealistic, to become the wife of a rigid colonel much older than she. Her probing mind is quickly troubled by the problems of India, and her inward restlessness betrays the frustration caused by a passionless marriage. Since her household is tenaciously managed by the colonel's devoted sister, she spends her days writing sonnets and yearning for the kind of love she does not have - until she finds it, in the form of her handsome young Indian servant with whom she rides every day. From that point on the story gallops, with ever-rising suspense, as husband and sister-in-law become more and more suspicious of her actions and the feelings expressed in her poetry, and as a jealous rajah (whose advances the heroine has spurned) uncovers her affair with an untouchable. The ending is both dramatic and haunting.« less