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The World We Found: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 3, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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)

“Luminous. . . . Wise and absorbing, Umrigar’s novel has the rich, chaotic vibrancy of a Mumbai marketplace.” (People)

“Asparkling and sharp slice of life.” (Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post)

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)

“Absorbing. . . . A rewarding novel.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A storyteller through and through, Umrigar ensures that her characters face up to the costs and consequences created by their choices, right or wrong, principled or unprincipled.” (Washington Post)

From the Back Cover

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061938343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061938344
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Traditional attitudes still linger in India, but they're not held equally in all quarters of Indian society. Some Indians are more liberal than many Americans, while others cling desperately to the old ways and steep themselves in fundamentalist practices. Thrity Umrigar highlights that clash between the old and the new in this story of renewed friendships in modern Bombay.

Laleh, Kavita, Armaiti and Nishta were fast friends and fellow revolutionaries in their Bombay college days 30 years ago. Now they've mostly lost touch, and their lives have diverged greatly, leaving them with little in common but a shared history. When Armaiti reaches out from America with news of cancer and a dying wish to have them all together one last time, they reconnect and prove that the sisterhood stands stronger than ever.

The contrasting experiences of these four women reflect the complex challenges facing a nation caught between the past and the present.

Laleh enjoys a marriage of equals with Adish, her college sweetheart.
Kavita is a successful architect. She is a lesbian, happy in her current relationship and aching to reveal her authentic self to her old friends.
Armaiti is the deserter. She's the one who ran off to America, and worse yet, married an American.
Nishta also married her college sweetheart, but Iqbal is no longer the liberal socialist she married. He has returned to his fundamentalist Muslim roots. He keeps Nishta on a short leash, essentially a prisoner in their home.

Nishta's plight becomes pivotal as the friends race against time and Armaiti's imminent death. This is where Laleh's husband Adish really shines, faced with divided loyalties and possessed of a chivalrous heart. Can he live up to his old reputation as "Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Four girls who were best friends during college have lost touch. Now they are middle-aged, each living her own life. Then they get a request from one of the friends who is dying in America - can you come, just one more time before I die? It seems like a simple request, but turns complicated right away.

This is a beautiful book about female friendship - set in India. What will friends do for one another? What are the limits? What are the responsibilities? Each character is very much alive and 3-dimensional. I found myself caring very much what happened to them as they decided whether or not to go to America. I learned a lot about Indian culture, both secular culture and Muslim culture.

A fine, colorful, heart-felt novel. One of the best things I've read all year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Thrity Umigar years ago, and loved her earlier work. I found this book to be pedestrian. It was written simplistically, did not have enough depth, and I really didn't care about the characters after awhile because most of them felt rather entitled. I realize that's a harsh comment when you're talking about a terminal illness, but the characters did not explore much beyond the obvious and I feel that not enough work was put into this book. Would not recommend. Not a bad read, but not absorbing like her earlier work.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Have you ever read THRITY UMRIGAR'S work ? If yes, then you will welcome THE WORLD WE FOUND. If she is new to you then get this book, or one of her other writings and prepare to be delighted in her eye for characterization, turns of phrase; complex yet wholly understandable tales of human virtues and foibles.
One of the friends is dying and summons the others to come to her before the end. How they get together, plan and execute this journey is the meat of the story and the book. They were young once, full of knowledge-or so they thought- of what is necessary for societies. They learn, each in their own way, that things are not that simple, that it is nearly impossible to turn around whole systems which have been in place ,perhaps, for centuries.
Love is not always recognizable, and contentment seems always distant. It may be a sad wisdom to find love and happiness right where you are or in what you had, but it is real. The conclusions are both true and somewhat ethereal. I cannot imagine that you will not love this book and its author.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure how I missed one of the finest novelists I've read in a long time. Having just finished this wonderfully compelling and beautifully written novel (which I read in less than two days because I was virtually unable to put it down!), I realize that I have found an author who I will want to go back and read everything she has written. I'm already making a mental note to look for her next book.

We meet four women now approaching 50 who have grown apart. One moved to the United States and married a well-off American. Two of the women are still in touch. They have all lost touch with the fourth who married a Muslim in defiance of her family. Now one of the women is dying and wants to see her friends one more time. As the women come to grip with the news that their friend is dying, they remember their college years together. The dying woman also remembers and wants to see them just one more time.

The things we thought we knew, the things that were black and white when we were young - what happens to them? "Life happens." What a wonderful, joyful, sad, and exhilarating statement. Ms. Umrigar knows that nothing is simple. Life isn't simple.This is one of those books with so many layers of thought and ideas. It would make for an extremely lively book club meeting - one that might even go late in the night!

Ms. Umrigar knows how to weave a skillful narrative about these four women against a backdrop of class, money and political power. Life is messy and glorious. It's a good lesson told in a joyful way.
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