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The Space Between Us: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 3, 2011
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When we first meet Bhima, she is sharing a thin mattress with Maya, the granddaughter upon whom high hopes and dreams were placed, only to be shattered by an unexpected pregnancy and its disastrous consequences. As time goes on, we learn that Sera and her family have used their power and money time and time again to influence the lives of Bhima and Maya, from caring for Bhima's estranged husband after a workplace accident, to providing the funds for Maya's college education. We also learn that Sera's seemingly privileged life is not as it appears; after enduring years of cruelty under her mother-in-law's roof, she faced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, pain that only Bhima could see and alleviate. Yet through the triumphs and tragedies, Sera and Bhima always shared a bond that transcended class and race; a bond shared by two women whose fate always seemed to rest in the hands of others, just outside their control.
Told in a series of flashbacks and present day encounters, The Space Between Us gains strength from both plot and prose. A beautiful tale of tragedy and hope, Umrigar's second novel is sure to linger in readers' minds. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sera Dubash is a wealthy educated Parsi, who lives a privileged upper-class life in Bombay. Her married life fraught with violence and brutality, she ached for a marriage that was different from all the "dead sea of marriages she saw all around her," a marriage begun with such high hopes that fizzled out. Now she is widowed and lives happily with her daughter and son-in-law, looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild.
Bhima is poor and illiterate, forced to eek out an existence on the edges of Bombay, enduring the stench and fifth, the open drains with their dank pungent smell, the dark rows of slanting hutments, the gaunt and open-mouthed men. Bhima has worked for years as Sera's domestic housekeeper, and has built up a trustworthy relationship with her employer's family; Sera's the only person who treats her like a human being, has been steadfast and true to her, and never despised her for being ignorant, or illiterate or weak. Sera even promises to financially help Bhima's granddaughter Maya go to college. But no one - least of all Bhima - expects the seventeen-year-old Maya to get pregnant.Read more ›
The novel is driven by the unfortunate pregnancy of Bhima's granddaughter, Maya, which thwarts the college education both Bhima and Sera want for her. After many a subplot and flashback develops the history of the protagonists, there is a sudden revelation that upsets everything. Up to this point there is little to criticize.
The short denouement following the revelation is more problematical. While fitting with the class divisions illuminated throughout the novel, it is harder to reconcile with the personalities of the protagonists created by the author. I was left at the end feeling that the last few pages didn't quite ring true.
I don't want to spoil the story by discussing more detail because I do think this book is well worth reading. Take the opportunity and form your own opinion about the ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A compelling story of a difficult friendship between two women of different classes in India, their lives, trust and loyalties.Published 9 days ago by Mary Spalding
I finished this book in two days. It's well written, empathetic, emotional, inspiring, and sad... It's definitely one of the best books I've read this year. Highly recommended.Published 19 days ago by TalkALot
Not sure what I was expecting, but this book went beyond. I hadn't read a book like this in a long time. I highly recommend it.Published 29 days ago by Csmith
Very good . Was a touching story of the relationship between a upper middle class Parsi housewife and her Indian servant .?Published 1 month ago by Haywire
Great insight into the lives of several people -- as the reader. I really cared about the characters. Also, good description of life in India for various economic levels.Published 1 month ago by Frances H. Jordan
I liked the book very much. I prefer a definitive ending....it just left the reader hanging.Published 2 months ago by Stanley Redkey