Friday, May 16, 2008

The Space Between Us

Last night the Library's book group discussed Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us. Everyone agreed that this was a wonderful novel and we had a very animated discussion. The novel takes place in Bombay and centers around two women. Sera is a middle-class Parsi housewife and Bhima, a Hindu, is her servant. Although both women have very different lives and come from very different backgrounds, they both understand the joys and sorrows of motherhood and the pain of a unhappy marriage. An unlikely friendship has formed between the two women, but Sera is eventually forced to choose between her friendship with Bhima or loyalty to her social class. It is a captivating story with well-developed characters, and although it has a slower pace and several flashbacks, the story flows well and holds the readers' interest. Umrigar's descriptions of Bombay illuminate life in the slums, the crowded city streets and the calm of the ocean. Sera and Bhima's lives provide an eye-opening look at the lack of autonomy, choice and freedom women have in this culture and the constraints imposed on them by society.

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