Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
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.

First Line: "The thin woman in the green sari stood on the slippery rocks and gazed at the dark waters around her."

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