The space between us author
The Space Between Us by Thrity UmrigarThis book ravaged my soul and kidnapped my heart. I dont believe I will ever be the same upon finishing this masterpiece of a novel. This book rocked me to my core; It changed every fiber of my being. The premise of this book is simple. However, what transpires over the course of this novel, is anything but. Morals are tested; lines in the sand are drawn.
Now.. I need to talk about the writing, or, maybe artistry is a better word. I am definitely having an Im not worthy, Im not worthy moment. The words were as powerful and as meaningful as a torrential downpour of nails, screaming at my heart. Thrity Umrigar, a masterful wordsmith, expertly wove and threaded her words into my heart. Ive never felt more at home than I did reading The Space Between Us.
The ending of the book delivered a cruel and bludgeoning blow, but it was real. It was like a punch to my gut and a hammer to my heart. The finality of it all was overwhelming and I felt such immense solitude and longing at the prospect of never spending time with these characters again. This book will always have a place in my heart long after the last pages have been turned.
UPDATE: Since writing and publishing this review, it has been brought to my attention that there will be a sequel, The Secrets Between Us. I feel like this was a serendipitous occurrence, having read the book over ten years after it was released.. only to find that there will be a sequel released in a couple of months! If I had read the book when it was released, I would have had to wait 10+ years for the sequel.. and now I only have to wait a short amount of time. Needless to say, I am tickled pink and anxiously awaiting its debut on June, 26th.
Further Update: I finished the sequel, The Secrets Between Us and it was as wonderful as I had hoped. Please visit my review here
The Clash of Caste
Umrigar's schematic novel after Bombay Time illustrates the intimacy, and the irreconcilable class divide, between two women in contemporary Bombay. Bhima, a year-old slum dweller, has worked for Sera Dubash, a younger upper-middle-class Parsi woman, for years: cooking, cleaning and tending Sera after the beatings she endures from her abusive husband, Feroz. Sera, in turn, nurses Bhima back to health from typhoid fever and sends her granddaughter Maya to college. Sera recognizes their affinity: "They were alike in many ways, Bhima and she. Despite the different trajectories of their lives—circumstances The younger generation—Maya; Sera's daughter, Dinaz, and son-in-law, Viraf—are also caged by the same strictures despite efforts to throw them off.
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Added by 1 of our members. In this beautifully crafted novel about the interlinked lives of two women, Thrity Umrigar explores the complex relationships between the classes in India, rarely addressed in contemporary fiction. She worked in the house I grew up in, year after year, a shadow flitting around our middle-class home, her thin brown hands cleaning furniture she was not allowed to sit on, cooking food she was not allowed to share at the family dining table, dusting the stereo that mainly played American rock and roll, music that was alien and unfamiliar to her, that only reminded her of her nebulous presence in our home, our world, our lives. Set in contemporary Bombay, "The Space Between" tells the story of Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife and Bhima, the woman who works as a domestic servant in her home. Despite their class differences, the two women are bound by the bonds of gender and shared life experiences - both had marriages that started out with great romantic love and promise, but ended up as crushing disappointments. Ultimately, Sera Dubash faces a decision that will force her to choose between loyalty to gender and friendship or loyalty to her social position and class.
The speculative fiction of best selling author Kyle Pratt
By Thrity Umrigar. HarperCollins Publishers. IN the classic upstairs-downstairs story, you always have a sneaking suspicion that downstairs, freed of corsets and etiquette, the servants are having a lot more fun than their prim, monocled masters. But no such palliative exists in the world of Thrity Umrigar's second novel, which examines the class divide in Bombay as Umrigar continues to call Mumbai through the relationship of a mistress and her servant. In a city where the densest slums have a population of one million per square mile, "downstairs" is fairly grim.