Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The World We Found

The World We Found
Thrity Umrigar
Harper, 2012

Armaiti has been living in America for many years. Originally from India, she emigrated after college, married and divorced an American man and now has a college aged daughter. She has recently received a sobering diagnosis of terminal cancer. She rejects the slim chance that receiving treatment will extend her life and instead focuses her attention on reuniting with old friends for one last visit before she dies. Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta live in Bombay. In college the four women were inseparable as political activists for a reformed India. Today, they barely keep in touch and Nishta, in fact, has not been heard from in years. Laleh is now married to her college sweetheart and quite wealthy, despite their youthful communistic leanings. Kavita is a successful architect and trying to be open about her once hidden sexual orientation. Nishta married into a fundamentalist Muslim family and her husband strictly controls her activities.

Armaiti has her own challenges to deal with as her illness progresses and she becomes more dependent on her daughter and ex-husband. She has many regrets that surface as she contemplates the end of her life, but in the end nothing matters as much as seeing her old friends again. The four women were idealistic in their youth and now must reconcile past hopes and dreams with the practical realities of middle age, much like the divided India that is portrayed in this novel. As the women struggle with the memories of their college years, they realize they have some unresolved issues that must be laid to rest before they can say goodbye to each other one last time.


Other novels by this author:
Bombay Time (2001)
The Space between Us (2005)
If Today be Sweet (2007)
The Weight of Heaven (2009)

Other titles you may enjoy:

The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (2010)
Reunited when their beloved father falls ill, sisters Meredith and Nina find themselves under the shadow of their disapproving mother, whose painful history is hidden behind her rendition of a Russian fairy tale told to the sisters in childhood.

First Friends by Marcia Willett (2006)
Life-long best friends, both married to naval officers, Kate Webster and Cassandra Wivenhoe find their lives, families, and marriages thrown into turmoil by Cassandra's infidelities.

Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama (2002)
Cate and her adult daughter, Hana, who has Werner's Syndrome, a disease which speeds aging to twice the normal rate, find their lives changed irrevocably by the arrival of Hana's childhood friend, Laura, and her two energetic daughters.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a really, really good read. Def. going on my to-read list!