Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar



Publisher: Harper

Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5





Armaiti, Laleh, Nishta and Kavita were best friends in University, inseparable and spirited students. They were different from the others; they were passionate about the political- not the personal. “Broken hearts, broken fingernails, broken promises-all the things that their classmates fretted over, they dismissed.” As fellow revolutionaries they challenged authority and protested for what they believed in. It has since been thirty years and the women have drifted apart, when Armaiti is diagnosed with a brain tumor, her dying wish is to see her friends one more time. Kavita and Laleh have remained close friends, and struggle with their feelings about Armaiti’s impending death. Their shared history and bond have never changed their feelings towards each other, and Kavita and Laleh want to fulfill her wish and travel to America. They must find Nishta. Nishta, the one they were so proud of, a Hindu who married a Muslim man. As a result of her love, she was disowned by her parents. Over the years Nishta has drifted away from everyone and disappeared. When the women find Nishta, they are surprised to find her living a life they never imagined. Her husband, once liberal socialist has become a devout Muslim after the riots changed him forever. Nishta has to obey his every word. He has become a skeptical, disillusioned, bitter man and she has to endure his temper. Nishta knows he will never allow her to go see Armaiti. She is living under lock and key, and drowning under his commands.

Readers will find themselves lost in the world of Armaiti, Laleh, Nishta and Kavita. The world they now find themselves in is very different from what they imagined. Armaiti is living in America, divorced and still depending on the ex-husband who had an affair. She had months to live, and must come to terms with what’s important and what she should let go. Laleh has married her university boyfriend, and together they have built a wealthy, comfortable life. Laleh would give up her materialist possessions in a heartbeat if it meant proving her point. Her husband at times is furious with her feisty temperament, but he has learned to accept the woman he loves. Kavita is a successful architect, living a secret. She has a secret girlfriend but doesn’t know how to tell anyone. It had been years, and she hasn’t even told Laleh. Nishta is living in a prison, her every step is accounted for and she gave up everything for a man who she now wants to leave.

The story is less about the reunion, and more about the journey to the reunion. I felt like I was taking the journey with these old friends. I was rooting for all the friends. Nishta really stole my heart, and we see her struggle. She loves the man she fell in love with but not the man he has become. Each character has a strong, unique voice. Occasionally, when there are many main characters I feel a stronger connection with one or two, in this case I felt connected to everyone. I felt like I had a real understanding of where everyone was coming from. Even Nishta’s husband Iqbal, held a place in my heart. His world has come crashing down around him, and he didn’t know how to cope. He honestly thought he was doing what was best for his family. Each character was easily to distinguish. This was my first Thrity Umrigar book, and it will not be my last. In case you’re not sure, I highly recommend this book. A perfect read for book club discussions.





13 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful novel. I have one of the author's other books on my shelf and hope to read it this year.

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  2. I love Umrigar's writing. I need to get to this book soon.

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  3. I love that all the characters have unique voices and such different struggles. This book sounds really good. I haven't read any of her other books either but I guess I need to change that!

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  4. Umrigar is a very talented author, and I have read a few of her books. If you want one that is a little more suspenseful, read The Weight of Heaven. If you are looking for one that is a little more melancholy, read The Space Between Us, and Bombay Time is one that really gives you the flavor of India. Great review today. I am so glad that you loved this one! I need to get to it soon!

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  5. This sounds great. I love a book that has several strong female characters to read about. Adding this one to my TBR list!

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  6. I'm the same way Jennifer, when there is a large cast of characters usually just one or two of them jump out at me, it's so nice that for you in this one they all appealed to you in one way or another. Sounds like a wonderful character-driven novel, and those are always my favorite types of reads:)

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  7. Sounds like the author did a good job with developing these characters and giving them depth. I like the idea of this story though it's not something I'd typically read. I am curious about the outcome and how the story concludes. Nice review.

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  8. Sounds like a fantastic book! A friend of mine really enjoys this author, so I will definitely keep this one in mind. Great review, as always!

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  9. Reading your review makes me want to start a book club just to have awesome discussions about this book!! It sounds like such a fantastic novel! :) I LOVE books with worlds that you can find yourself getting lost in, and the fact that you were rooting for every single character makes it sound exponentially more amazing! <3

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! You have me intrigued about this book now for sure! :)

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  10. Beautiful review. I have this book on my list and suspect I'll love it too.

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  11. I love when books suck you in, and this one sounds like it would be those kinds of books. Great review and thanks for putting this on my radar.

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  12. I've been seeing this on so many highly rated lists. Your review cements it as one that I MUST have.

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  13. So eager to read this! Thanks for a great review!

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