Welcome to Thrity Thursday, also known as “The Space Between Us” read-along. We’ll be reading the book over the next few weeks. Thanks to Lisa for putting it together and thanks to these other bloggers for joining in on the fun!
Dar at Peeking Between The Pages
Staci at Life In The Thumb
Kathy at Mommy’s Reading
Booksync at Book In The City
Bailey at The Window Seat Reader
Mari at Bookworm With A View
Chapters 21-25 (Final)
My hope is that after this read-along, some of you will get a copy of this book and read it on your own. Since that is my wish, my synopsis isn’t a play-by-play account of what I’ve read, but just a high-level overview of what took place. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. With that said…
In this week’s reading, the father of Maya’s unborn baby is revealed. Bhima’s knowledge of this causes her to question everything around her and presents a whole new set of problems for the woman to endure. As Dinaz’s pregnancy progresses, Maya is left to bitterly mourn her own baby’s fate. As shocked as Bhima is by Maya’s behavior, she can relate to how difficult it will be for Maya once Dinaz has her baby.
In the end, which I will not give away… Umrigar brings things to a close in a satisfying, yet realistic way.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book, I found it to be a bit soap opera-ish. This happens, then that happens, then there is a shocking revelation…cue music. It’s very dramatic at times. Part of that I think is due to the fact that it’s set in another country. The use of language is different so the emphasis is different with some words, which to me, makes it sound more dramatic.
For whatever reason, the middle class tends to rhyme their words when speaking in this novel. I can’t remember word for word what was said, but “friends schlends” for example. As they tsk tsk over something…they lapse into rhyming their words. This seemed odd to me. Was this an attempt at being cute? To perhaps lend some lightness to the conversation? I’m not sure, but it happened at least three times (that I can recall) and it made me wonder if they really talk like that in India.
As for the story itself, I liked the way Umrigar balanced what is essentially two parallel stories and brought them together. Her descriptive passages leave nothing to the imagination. Every sight and sound and sometimes even smell is accounted for. The scenes at Chowpatty Beach are so vivid, albeit brief. I was completely wrapped up in that world while reading the book.
As this is now my second Umrigar book, I have to say that she has a very distinct way of writing and an unfailing sense of who her characters are. I think I enjoyed The Space Between Us a bit more than The Weight of Heaven. It seemed a bit more authentic to me, even with the dramatic undertones. Both would make excellent book club picks.
7 thoughts on “Thrity Thursday! AKA “The Space Between Us” Read-Along – Week 5 (Final)”
Funny comment about the rhyming thing – they do actually talk like that in India! This read-through was a great idea, I do love Thrity Umrigar. Thanks for sharing!
This book fell a bit flat for me…I think because I had heard so many people rave about it and I was expecting something greater.
I remember thinking about the rhyming to, wondering if this is necessary. Do they really talk like this?
I think I did like this one a little more than the weight of heaven.
Thanks for including a photo of the beach, it was described so nicely!
I understand your soap opera comment but I didn’t mind this, I didn’t even notice this until reading the comment. These women had tough lives!
I had to look Chowpatty Beach up, too! I’ve watched a few Bollywood movies and some movies set in England with Indian characters and the speech in this book does seem to mimic what I have seen in those movies. Don’t know if that’s all just a nod to the image Americans have of Indian speech or if that’s really the way they talk.
Swapna was nice enough to comment and confirmed that folks do speak that way in India. I figured this was the case since Umrigar is so authentic in every other way.