The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us

3.98 (35,105 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"This is a story intimately and compassionately toldagainst 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 at adept andcompelling in The Space Between Us--vividlycapturing the social struggles of modern India in a luminous, addictivelyreadable novel of honor, tradition, class, gender, and family. A portrayal oftwo woman discovering an emotional rapport as they struggle against theconfines of a rigid caste system, Umrigar'scaptivating second novel echoes the timeless intensity of ZoraNeale Hurston's Their Eyes Were WatchingGod, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows inBrooklyn, and Barbara Kingsolver's ThePoisonwood Bible--a quintessential triumph of modern literary fiction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 468 pages
  • 154 x 229 x 30mm | 517g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • 006112124X
  • 9780061121241
  • 977,004

Back cover copy

Each morning, Bhima, a domestic servant in contemporary Bombay, leaves her own small shanty in the slums to tend to another woman's house. In Sera Dubash's home, Bhima scrubs the floors of a house in which she remains an outsider. She cleans furniture she is not permitted to sit on. 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.
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Review quote

"Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer."--New York Times Book Review
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Rating details

35,105 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 30% (10,373)
4 45% (15,644)
3 21% (7,464)
2 4% (1,300)
1 1% (324)
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