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The world we found : a novel
Umrigar, Thrity N.
Adult Fiction UMRIGAR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Umrigar (The Space Between Us) illustrates India's national identity crisis over the past 40 years through four friends who reconnect in this absorbing novel. Divorcee Armaiti is living in America with a daughter at Harvard when she's given six months to live. Her last wish is to see her three best friends again-Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta, all in Bombay. In college, as idealistic Communists, they'd been inseparable, but now they're barely in touch. Kavita is a successful architect, Laleh a wife and mother, and none of them have heard from Nishta in years. When they finally find her beneath a burkha in a strict Muslim neighborhood, it becomes clear that Nishta's husband, Iqbal, a fellow university idealist turned fundamentalist, will be the biggest obstacle to fulfilling Armaiti's final desire. Umrigar is never shy in her portrayal of a divided India, deftly pinpointing major issues facing the country today and tracing them through a legacy of cultural death and rebirth. Armaiti's ruminations on unexpectedly encountering the end of one's life and Kavita's struggle to live openly as a lesbian despite supportive friends act as strong secondary narratives. Though none of the major story elements Umrigar employs are remotely fresh, her characters make this a rewarding novel. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The bad news arrives over the long-distance line bridging the United States and India. Laleh's dearest friend, not yet 50, is coping with a fatal diagnosis. Eschewing debilitating treatments, to the chagrin of her daughter Diane and former husband Richard, the clear-eyed Armaiti nurses one desire: to revisit those heady student days when she, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable activists, marching, protesting, and speaking out for a new India. But over the ensuing years life has gotten in the way of the revolution. Kavita, a renowned architect, has embraced her once hidden sexual orientation, while Nishta's increasingly fundamentalist husband, Iqbal, has buried her personhood beneath a burka. The invitation to America acts as a catalyst, propelling the story forward as the three friends reconnect, reminisce, and contemplate the vagaries of life that will take them to Armaiti's door. VERDICT From the first sentence of this insightful novel, Umrigar (The Space Between Us; The Weight of Heaven) will enthrall readers with her deft portrayal of the depth of women's friendships, the many facets of love, and the oh-so-human conundrum-whether to live with one's choices or walk away. Oprah would love this book, and so will your patrons. Buy multiples. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/11.]-Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst. Ft. Myers, FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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