Read "The Space Between Us A Novel" by Thrity Umrigar available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. “This is a story. Editorial Reviews. greentinphalihang.tk Review. The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar's poignant download a site site eBooks site Unlimited Prime Reading Best Sellers & More site Book Deals Free Reading Apps site Singles Newsstand. Her Western Civ teacher catches on and challenges her with an independent study of class and upward mobility—what creates the spaces between us.
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In Sera Dubash's home, Bhima scrubs the floors of a house in which she remains an The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Integrating psychological theories with empirical evidence, the author of this volume draws fundamental conclusions about the nature and types of relationships. "This is a story intimately and compassionately toldagainst the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay." —Washington Post Book World " Bracingly.
This book will always have a place in my heart long after the last pages have been turned. Since writing and publishing this review, it has been brought to my attention that there will be a sequel, The Secrets Between Us. I feel like this was a serendipitous occurrence, having read the book over ten years after it was released.. Needless to say, I am tickled pink and anxiously awaiting it's debut on June, 26th. Further Update: Please visit my review here View all comments.
Jul 17, Colby rated it it was amazing Shelves: My favorite quote from this book: How, despite our lifelong preoccupation with our bodies, we have never met face-to-face with our kidneys, how we wouldn't recognize our own liver in a row of livers, how we have never seen our own heart or brain. We know more about the depths of the ocean, are more acquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones.
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So perhaps there are no phantom pains after all; perhaps all pain is real; perhaps each long-ago blow My favorite quote from this book: So perhaps there are no phantom pains after all; perhaps all pain is real; perhaps each long-ago blow lives on into eternity in some different permutation and shape; perhaps the body is this hypersensitive, revengeful entity, a ledger book, a ware house of remembered slights and cruelties.
Surely this is our salvation, our only hope - that joy and love are also woven into the fabric of the body, into each sinewy muscle, into the core of each pusating cell?
View all 8 comments. Oct 05, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bhimi is a servant in contemporary Bombay. She works for Sera Dubash. The class divide between them is vast. Yet there are similarities to their lives that bind them across these lines.
Bhima is an old woman with calloused feet, mildewy armpits and an affection for chewing tobacco. She is raising her granddaughter, Maya, by herself, her daughter and son-in-law having died of AIDS, her husband having left with their son, Amrit, many years back.
Maya, a promising collegian, has dropped out of scho Bhimi is a servant in contemporary Bombay. Maya, a promising collegian, has dropped out of school on finding that she is pregnant. Seraba Dubash is relatively well-to-do. Her children are faring well in the world. A child is on the way to her daughter Dinaz and her husband, Viraf, but this one is welcome. In learning of the history of the two central women we see that they have both suffered. Both had abusive husbands. Her husband turned out to be a true child of his mother, shielding his cruel side from her until after the marriage.
But after an accident took three fingers and an unscrupulous company accountant tricked her into signing away all his rights, drink, depression and rage overcame him and he became a dark force, abusing her, blaming her for his misfortunes and ultimately leaving. Through the eyes of these women we get a taste of how life is lived on either side of the class tracks in India today. Sera cannot expunge her class biases, her racism. Bhima always seems to fall back on low class subservience even when she is in the right.
Although they are from opposite worlds, it is clear that the two women need each other, but their interaction is not quite healthy. Sera never gets past seeing Bhima as a dumb, filthy prole. And while she is more than eager to see the worst in Bhima, who is clean in body and soul, she is blind to the corruption in her own household. The story comes to a logical conclusion, with a wonderful final sequence in which Bhima unties herself from her anchor of a situation and lightens her emotional burdens, in a magical metaphor.
It was quite moving. This is a wonderful book, with moving characters, payload re class and ethnicity in India, a tale with much feeling, nifty book club fodder. View all 12 comments. Jan 02, Annet rated it really liked it Shelves: A book that makes a deep impression Sometimes I just had to stop reading. So much sadness and misery, there's only so much I can take.
Poverty, illness, death, abuse, rape, abortion, disrespect, distinctions of class, condescension, it's all in this book. But it is also about a grandmother fighting to make a life for her granddaughter. And that's tough to say the least, living in the slums of Bombay and facing grim reality and poverty every day.
She's a fighter. Impressive, but to be honest I A book that makes a deep impression Impressive, but to be honest I'm glad I finished this. Hard to read. This book is really well written and is food for thought.
I would like to read more of this author, but need to take a break first A very sad story but in the end it does have a shimmer of hope View all 16 comments. Jun 10, Carol rated it it was amazing Shelves: What a fitting title for this book!
The story is a shattering account of the soul crushing poverty of an Indian servant juxtaposed alongside her employer, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife.
Bhima lives in a slum; but for over 20 years she has worked in the household of Sera Dubash. Even though the two women formed a kind of bond over the years, Sera drinks tea in a chair at a table, but she expects Bhima to crouch on the floor to drink her own tea. Sera is disgusted by Bhima's physical attributes and she is forbidden to use the family dishes or sit at the table.
So despite the similarities between the two women, they couldn't be farther apart because of class. Umrigar weaves together the narrative with colloquial expressions that authenticate the dialogue and create a unique sense of place.
Thrity Umrigar wrote a touching afterword in my book. She included personal reflections of her own middle-class childhood and their servant…treated in much the same way as Bhima was in this novel. I highly recommend reading this beautifully written, devastating story.
View all 50 comments. This is a beautifully written story telling the side by side yet intertwined stories of two women from different classes in Bombay , India.
It's sad , really heartbreaking at times as we come to know the stories of Sera , a wealthy woman, and her loyal servant , Bhimi , whose life in the slums is a stark contrast. In spite of the class difference and the deeply rooted societal space between them , these women are bonded somehow as they share their personal heartaches. Yet , the space remains. Umigar's writing not only takes you into the hearts and souls of these women , she takes you to the place where they live.
To Bless the Space Between Us
You can vividly see the marketplace where Bhimi shops and the horrid conditions of the slum where she lives. This book is extremely moving and so well written and I wish I could say something more but I'll leave it at that I highly recommend this book and will certainly be reading Umigar's other books. View all 17 comments. Apr 19, Agnes rated it it was ok. This is the kind of novel I used to like - exploring gender and class issues in a foreign setting - but I found it unsatisfying. The author describes the crushing powerlessness of illiteracy and poverty well, but the rest of the book I found overly dramatic.
However, the flashbacks employed by the Meh. However, the flashbacks employed by the author were sophomoric and the very fact that this gap is not bridged is not explored nearly fully enough.
Instead, she ends with a terribly trite "epiphany" by the sea on the part of one of the characters. The novel gives a flavor of the class differences in Bombay, but not much more.
View all 3 comments. Jan 19, Debbie "DJ" rated it it was amazing Shelves: I could not put this book down from the moment I began to read. The characters are beautifully drawn out, and the writing superb.
It's one of those books where the story just stays with you. Life in Bombay with it's sharp lines between poverty and wealth. The significance of the educated over the uneducated. The trials and hardships of women dominated by men. The main character of this book has been a servant to a higher class and well educated family for so many years the ties become as strong I could not put this book down from the moment I began to read.
The main character of this book has been a servant to a higher class and well educated family for so many years the ties become as strong as family.
Yet with their class discrepancies do they really know one another? When one is betrayed are blood ties more meaningful than family ties? This book tackles so many deep questions while also being a simple story of daily life. View all 11 comments. Nearly ten years have passed since this The Space Between Us was first published and it continues to be printed and carried on library shelves. With nearly 30, reviews on Goodreads, my contribution will be a tiny drop in an ocean of years of thoughts, but as the novel is actively in current circulation I'm happy to add a few "bon mots" to the pile.
The caste system in modern India continues to be represented significantly in literature, as the improvements in the economy have not been able to Nearly ten years have passed since this The Space Between Us was first published and it continues to be printed and carried on library shelves.
The caste system in modern India continues to be represented significantly in literature, as the improvements in the economy have not been able to bridge the rigidly divisive, prejudicial and entrenched cultural beliefs.
The relationship between servant and household mistress are examined here, an oddly out of sync friendship where the wealthy Sera is emotionally dependant on the servile Bhima, but holds all of the power. Bhima and Sera both spend a great deal of time with the memories of their lifetimes of discord and sorrow, each suffered in distinctly different ways.
Bhima's granddaughter is in crisis; Sera's daughter is pregnant and with her husband, living with her mother. These two situations converge tragically, and resolve with the same quiet tenacity that each woman has accepted as part of life.
The writing is measured, thoughtful and without bias. It brought to mind frequently "A Fine Balance", with a smaller cast of characters and scope but no less affecting. I finished the novel with the realization that even though Western society's social welfare system is not ideal, it spares a large group of people from becoming reduced to the level of poverty in Third World countries.
It supports the philosophy of individual achievement, does not force servility to the moderately wealthy as cheaply paid servants nor in factories at slave labour wages and conditions and uplifts the quality of wages and life for a large segment of the workforce. The great disparity between castes will continue to perpetuate the tragic story of The Space Between Us, unless there is a major social change.
View all 13 comments. Dec 22, Lee rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a gorgeous story about friendship, family relationships and the artificial barriers created between the classes in India.
From the first page, I was sucked into the life of Bhima, a hardworking servant to an upper middle class, Parsi housewife named Sera. Bombay is powerfully present as the book opens with Bhima awakening to the sounds and smells of the slum around her.
I felt I was right inside her head and eavesdropping on the constantly fluctuating emotions of these two women was wond This is a gorgeous story about friendship, family relationships and the artificial barriers created between the classes in India. I felt I was right inside her head and eavesdropping on the constantly fluctuating emotions of these two women was wonderfully raw.
Moving from compassion to resentment and love to hate in a flash, the author effortlessly weaves together the painful family histories as well as the current day story of these two women. This book deals with a number of issues beautifully. How prejudices keep us apart.
How we create stories about others who appear different in order to give ourselves a false sense of superiority. What happens to the human spirit when life beats you down? How do people have courage in the face of so much suffering? I really loved this book.
View all 14 comments. Dec 04, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing. I read this when the book first came out. There are other more recent reviews Two women: The other a servant. One of the things that this book brought up for me --is the reminder that no matter how different two people might be educated or not -wealthy or poor -- emotions of I read this when the book first came out. One of the things that this book brought up for me --is the reminder that no matter how different two people might be educated or not -wealthy or poor -- emotions of love and loss are universal.
I have a few wonderful woman friends who are very different than me --yet "The Space Between Us" Inspiring themes in this novel!
View 2 comments. In Thrity Umrigar's transportive novel, we come to know Bombay, as well as its residents, in its ugliness, its evocative beauty, and its uniqueness; and find how rare and difficult it is for people to transverse different parts of it, geographically and culturally. Throughout The Space Between Us, there are details presumably unfamiliar to the reader not conversant with the colloquial language of Bombay; the rhyming, the slang; yet, it hardly matters, as the thrust and emotional meaning of each l In Thrity Umrigar's transportive novel, we come to know Bombay, as well as its residents, in its ugliness, its evocative beauty, and its uniqueness; and find how rare and difficult it is for people to transverse different parts of it, geographically and culturally.
Throughout The Space Between Us, there are details presumably unfamiliar to the reader not conversant with the colloquial language of Bombay; the rhyming, the slang; yet, it hardly matters, as the thrust and emotional meaning of each line are apparent, even if not immediately so, and Thrity's ability to communicate the emotional essence of thoughts and conversations rarely leaves doubt about what is happening.
The book delves deeply into the sufferings of women, of any caste, at the hands of men. And the men who are not "evil," are merely ineffectual, even their kindest gestures too little to salve the wounds that other men have created.
And yet there are throughout The Space Between moments of intense passion and sensuality between the men and woman portrayed within. Strong feeling that keeps rising up, memory at once healing, wounding, reminding.
We come to see the loyalties between people of different classes. How individuals can be convinced that they have conquered the unavoidable distances that money and station can create, and how the removal of that illusion can be an unforgiving destroyer. And how the instinct for self-preservation may be strong, but without the means to preserve oneself, all the intent in the world can mean nothing. Even when detailing the worst circumstances, the beauty and the power of the prose drives the reader onward.
This is writing with movement, small, and broad, of astonishing economy and painful, precise splendor. View all 6 comments. I've read this novel as uncorrected proof, i. For the same reason many good books will never be published in Serbia Nov 03, Nerissa rated it it was ok. This is a well-written but not-so-subtle exploration of how class, gender power, and generational differences isolate the two female protagonists in India.
Spoiler Alert: I would have given it more points, but I felt like the author trotted out every stereotypical horror that could befall her female characters. Spousal abuse? Domineering Indian mother-in-law? Wife getting AIDS because her husband brought it home from a prostitute? Wife bei This is a well-written but not-so-subtle exploration of how class, gender power, and generational differences isolate the two female protagonists in India.
Wife being abandoned by her alcoholic husband? Sexual coercion and abandonment of a virgin teen? By the end of the novel I no longer felt that string of scenarios made a realistic story, but that they were being included to excessively manipulate my heartstrings. Perhaps I'm just getting tired of the trend for modern tragedy lit.
Nov 14, Britany rated it really liked it Shelves: This story Bombay, India-- Bhima is living in the slums, raising her granddaughter- seemingly all alone. You can tell by her actions, movements, and words that she's lived a difficult life- just how tough we learn throughout the book.
Bhima works as a servant for Sera Dubash- a wealthy Indian woman, who also has lived a tough life bound with secret pain. The book is mostly set in present day This story The book is mostly set in present day with flashbacks for us to relieve the painful events of the past. The characters are sharply drawn, some of them grow, some of them don't. I knew where this book was going before we got there, but was not expecting the evilness of the ending.
How quickly someone privileged can throw another soul to the ground based on allegations that are unfounded. My heart broke for Bhima by the end and I was frustrated with the way the author left it-- Bhima made me realize hope can be found even in the direst situations.
I found this book for a challenge looking for an author from Southeast Asia, and I'm so glad I read this one. View all 5 comments. What a great way to start the new year with a 5 star read.
The people and the streets of Mumbai come alive in this delightful and at times heartbreaking story. We follow the lives of poor, illiterate Bhima who lives in the slums of the city and the rich Dubash family she works for. A What a great way to start the new year with a 5 star read.
A firm friendship has developed over the years between Bhima and Sera, the matriarch of the Dubash household, but there is always that cultural, religious and socioeconomic divide that separates them and prevents them from becoming truly close and best friends. Bhima has looked after her granddaughter Maya since she was a small child but now, at 17 years old, Maya has become pregnant and refuses to disclose the identity of the father. Sera and her wealthy family are educated and have connections and will surely know the best course of action.
Oct 03, Antoinette rated it really liked it. I'll be honest- I used to read every book that came out that took place in India. I found them so fascinating but ultimately very depressing. So I stopped reading them till this one- I picked this one up because of all the great reviews plus earlier this year I read "Everybody's Son" by this author and loved it.
In this earlier book pub , we are in Bombay pre became Mumbai in This book is about 2 women Sera and Bhima- master and servant- who develop an underlying frie 4. This book is about 2 women Sera and Bhima- master and servant- who develop an underlying friendship that will never be a true one because of the class separation. We learn about both of them- their lives, their loves, their families and their heartaches.
There are many heartaches!! The author really demonstrates the distinction between the haves and have nots; the power of education versus being illiterate; the authority of the male figures.
Both women's stories tugged at my heart. Both were well captured. The author is a beautiful writer and I will definitely be reading the sequel! Highly recommended! Mar 12, Connie G rated it really liked it Shelves: The Space Between Us is a novel about the relationship between two Indian women, the upper-middle class Serabai, and her lower class servant, Bhima.
The lives of these two likable women have parallel experiences that connect them, but there is always that "space between them" due to class differences. Poverty, education, family, and gender roles are also explored in the story. In India's patriarchal society men hold the power, and abuse of women of all classes is often overlooked.
The author als The Space Between Us is a novel about the relationship between two Indian women, the upper-middle class Serabai, and her lower class servant, Bhima.
The author also wove in descriptions of Bombay Mumbai --the slum where Bhima and her granddaughter resided, Sera's apartment, the markets, the beach, the traffic, the food. Umrigar based the book upon her experiences growing up in Mumbai. There was a real domestic servant named Bhima who worked for her family.
She served as a model for the hard-working, stoic character in the book. Jun 26, Suzanne rated it really liked it. It is very far away. I am familiar with it only through literature and TV news snippets.
Thrifty Umrigar, the author and a seasoned journalist, draws an exacting picture of the two Bombays that the middle class Sera, a Parsi and Bhima, a Hindu servant inhabit. The middle class family lives much like a middle class family in the U S.
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They have a car, a multi room apartment , a bathroom,a college educated child, disposable income, and a sick and ornery The Space Between Us is set in Bombay, India. They have a car, a multi room apartment , a bathroom,a college educated child, disposable income, and a sick and ornery grandmother. The servant is of servant class, though not an Untouchable.
Bhima is illiterate. She lives in a slum with no plumbing and a long line to get water each day for cooking and washing. Bhima's living quarters remind me of the dwellings of homeless people or street people. But Bhima goes to work every day and pays rent. Sera values Bhima because she is a good maid, cook, nanny, nurse and confidant. Bhima values Sera because she pays her and has, in the past come to her aide, by providing financial support during crises.
She washes glasses from which she is not allowed to drink.
Yet despite being separated from each other by blood and class, she and Sera find themselves bound by gender and shared life experiences. Sera is an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage. A widow, she devotes herself to her family, spending much of her time caring for her pregnant daughter, Dinaz, a kindhearted, educated professional, and her charming and successful son-in-law, Viraf.
Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. Cursed by fate, she sacrifices all for her beautiful, headstrong granddaughter, Maya, a university student whose education -- paid for by Sera -- will enable them to escape the slums. But when an unwed Maya becomes pregnant by a man whose identity she refuses to reveal, Bhima's dreams of a better life for her granddaughter, as well as for herself, may be shattered forever.
Poignant and compelling, evocative and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling and achingly real women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and vividly captures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.
Tells the story of two Indian families that grew with one another, one of the middle class and one of the servant class. The two main characters Bidha, the poor grandmother servant, and Serabai, theHe could generate a AD that hosted when he had his Negation's invocation, new companies great belongings, worshipped-perversely-as use the able, feminine forests, been and already supported.
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