The Space Between Us: A Novel

Paperback | February 6, 2007

byThrity Umrigar

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“This is a story intimately and compassionately told against the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay.”—Washington Post Book World
 
“Bracingly honest.”—New York Times Book Review
 
The author of Bombay Time, If Today Be Sweet, and The Weight of Heaven, Thrity Umrigar is as adept and compelling in The Space Between Us—vividly capturing the social struggles of modern India in a luminous, addictively readable novel of honor, tradition, class, gender, and family. A portrayal of two women discovering an emotional rapport as they struggle against the confines of a rigid caste system, Umrigar’s captivating second novel echoes the timeless intensity of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible—a quintessential triumph of modern literary fiction.

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From the Publisher

“This is a story intimately and compassionately told against the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay.”—Washington Post Book World  “Bracingly honest.”—New York Times Book Review  The author of Bombay Time, If Today Be Sweet, and The Weight of Heaven, Thrity Umrigar is as adept and compelling in The Space Between Us—vividly c...

From the Jacket

Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage...

Thrity Umrigar is the author of five other novels—The World We Found,The Weight of Heaven,The Space Between Us,If Today Be Sweet, andBombay Time—and the memoirFirst Darling of the Morning. An award-winning journalist, she has been a contributor to theWashington Post,Boston Globe, andHuffington Post, among other publications. She is the...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:February 6, 2007Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006079156X

ISBN - 13:9780060791568

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Customer Reviews of The Space Between Us: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The start of something grand "The Space Between Us" was the first Thrity Umrigar book I read. It is very well-written. And it let me know I was not alone. The storylines and characters felt familiar. I was so engrossed, that it was finished in a few hours. Then I was off to track down more of her books. :)
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it right to the end! I finished the book for my bookclub although I didn't get a chance to discuss it with them. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. I liked it that it was set in modern India, however, the issues presented are timeless. Well written, and a page turner. I'll be looking out for the next book she writes.
Date published: 2014-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting story In modern-day Bombay Bhima is an illiterate servant to an upper middle class Parsi woman, Sera. Bhima has worked for her for twenty years and shared in her sorrows and joys. Bhima lives in a slum with her pregnant granddaughter. Both of these women have suffered at the hands of their husbands. Sera was abused and Bhima's husband became an alcoholic after an industrial accident. Umrigar shows the unfortunate facts of being born a woman. Further there is the social stigma associated with class. Sera is so prejudiced that Bhima must use her own glass and cutlery when in Sera's house. Bhima is trying so hard to improve her lot in life and is beaten down time and again. Umrigar shows how resilient she is and how she gets up and goes on. I did enjoy the story but felt unfulfilled at the end and after reflection realize I just wasn't invested in the characters. It was an interesting story but the characters were 'flat' for me.
Date published: 2013-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Absolute Gem A wonderful book that revolves around two women, Sarah, the upper middle class housewife and Bhima, her servant of 20 years. The book really pinpoints the problems we face everyday as a woman; how our similarities bring us together, but the social class pulls us apart, and forces us to make decisions that we really don't want to make. I have recommended this book to many people, and it has become a book club choice since.
Date published: 2012-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read This book is about a mistress and servant in India - their lives are so different in terms of class, but yet very similar. I read this quickly because I couldn't put it down. There were some aspects of the story that confused me - the way Sera treated Bhima in her home on one hand, but helped her family financially on the other; and from a cultural standpoint - I think it is very clear-cut the way the rich treat the poor in a lot of countries and cultures, but especially in India. I found that the book was very well-written in the way that I found myself completely infuriated at some of the characters.
Date published: 2010-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic... The Space Between Us is a spectacularly emotional story about two women in Bombay bonded by sharing their lives together as servant and mistress but divided by their social class. Thrity Umrigar has a wonderfully consuming style of writing that emotionally ties the reader to her characters and doesn't let go. She can describe places, people, thoughts and emotions with vivid imagery and metaphors and just makes an already enveloping story that much more enjoyable to read. The Space Between Us is the first novel by Thrity Umrigar that I've read but it is certainly not the last, I look forward to reading the next one.
Date published: 2009-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Pleasure! To find a novel that captures me from the moment I pick it up, is a rare find indeed. Although this novel is set in India, it's themes are universal. I actually cared about the characters and what happens to them. This is the first time I've read anything from Thrity Umrigar, but I will definitely search out her work again. A pure pleasure -a definite re-read is in the near future!
Date published: 2008-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent A great story about a woman and her servant set in Bombay, how their lives are shaped around each other, although their lives are very different. A wonderful style of writing. I couldn't stop reading the story - it's so well written.
Date published: 2007-03-14

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Editorial Reviews

“Umrigar is a highly skilled storyteller...the novel’s plot and depth of characterisation provide irresistible momentum.”