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The World We Foundby Thrity Umrigar
Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven returns with a breathtaking, skillfully wrought story of four women and the unbreakable ties they share.
As university students in late 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable. Spirited and unconventional, they challenged authority and fought for a better world. But much has changed over the past thirty years. Following different paths, the quartet drifted apart, the day-to-day demands of work and family tempering the revolutionary fervor they once shared.
Then comes devastating news: Armaiti, who moved to America, is gravely ill and wants to see the old friends she left behind. For Laleh, reunion is a bittersweet reminder of unfulfilled dreams and unspoken guilt. For Kavita, it is an admission of forbidden passion. For Nishta, it is the promise of freedom from a bitter fundamentalist husband. And for Armaiti, it is an act of acceptance, of letting go on her own terms even if her ex-husband and daughter do not understand her choices.
In the course of their journey to reconnect, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta must confront the truths of their lives—acknowledge long-held regrets, face painful secrets and hidden desires, and reconcile their idealistic past and their compromised present. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives, and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India—a nation struggling to bridge economic, religious, gender, and generational divides—The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.
"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. Divorcé 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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The World We Found is stunning in its credibility and nuance...This is a novel that rewards reading, and even re-reading. The World We Found is a powerful meditation." Boston Globe
"The World We Found is absorbing and resonant." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Umrigar renders a vivid portrait of modern-day India as she meditates upon the power of friendship, loyalty, and love. Like her previous works, The World We Found is eloquent and evocative, bitter and sweet." Booklist (Starred Review)
"There's ample discussion to be had here on the topics of family, friendship, religion and marriage. Umrigar is a lively storyteller. The women are sympathetic characters, their relationships fully realized and deeply felt....Umrigar's evocative world is one worth finding, indeed." Minneapolis Star Tribune
Thrity Umrigar, acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven, returns with a breathtaking new novel—a skillfully wrought, emotionally resonant story of four women and the indelible friendship they share. Fans of Jennifer Haighs Faith, Jhumpa Lahiris Interpreter of Maladies, and Katrina Kittles The Kindness of Strangers will be captivated by Umrigars The World We Found—a moving story of bottled secrets, unfulfilled dreams, and the acceptance that can still lead to redemption, from a writer whom the New York Times calls perceptive and often piercing.
About the Author
Thrity Umrigar was born in Bombay to an affluent and close-knit Parsi family. At twenty-one, she came to North America and received a masters degree in journalism from the Ohio State University. She is the acclaimed author of Bombay Time, The Weight of Heaven, and First Darling of the Morning, a memoir. The Space Between Us was a bestseller in India and a #1 Book Sense pick in the U.S. Umrigar teaches creative writing at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.
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