Tag Archives: The Space Between Us

Thrity Thursday! AKA “The Space Between Us” Read-Along – Week 5 (Final)

The Space Between Us

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 Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

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.

Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai
Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai

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.

Source: Purchased.

Previous Weeks:

Week 1 & Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

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Thrity Thursdays! AKA “The Space Between Us” Read-Along – Week 4

The Space Between Us

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 16-20

My Synopsis:

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, we learn what happened to Bhima’s family. Particularly her husband Gopal, and her son Amit. From earlier chapters, it’s clear that Gopal and Bhima love each other, but after an accident at work, the family feels the strain of Gopal’s injury and the added pressure to make ends meet brings out the worst in Gopal.

Sera and Feroz’s influence is what saves Gopal’s life, but their influence is not able to prevent the gradual decline that further stresses Bhima and the family.

My Thoughts:

The decline of Bhima’s family is just heartbreaking. She tries so hard to provide a good life for her family, yet her struggle to do so is outweighed by Gopal’s inability to function as the family’s provider. As you can imagine, the ability for a man to provide for his family is a matter of pride and without it, the man is left feeling completely useless. Such is the case with Gopal. On the one hand, I was frustrated with Gopal, but on the other, I could totally relate to his predicament.

As the story progresses, I find myself more and more frustrated with Maya. She’s young and educated yet she comes across as being a bit of an airhead. Her questions to Bhima border on “irritating” and she doesn’t seem capable of reading between the lines. As the story comes to a close, my hope is that she comes full circle and learns something from the mistakes she’s made and appreciates how hard her grandmother works to keep them together.