The Space Between Us Epub Ì The Space PDF \

The Space Between Us 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 30,000 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 With nearly 30,000 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 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 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 Over time, their lives become enmeshed in an unlikely friendship in spite of the ritualized space that can never be bridged class divisions that that holds each woman in their destined positions.It s a lyrical, 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 Over time, their lives become enmeshed in an unlikely friendship in spite of the ritualized space that can never be bridged class divisions that that holds each woman in their destined positions.It s a lyrical, spellbinding and heart wrenching tale unbearably painful for me to read at times 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 Even though I didn t always understand, I always got the gist 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 Her Indian editor coined a phrase Indian apartheid to refer to the attitude that middle class Indians have toward domestic help I was reminded of Kathryn Stockett s novel, The Help.I highly recommend reading this beautifully written, devastating story This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Bhima smiles Beti, the past is always present, she says No such thing as bringing it up The past is like the skin on your hand it was there yesterday and it is here today It never goes anywhere Maybe when you re older you ll understand this better 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 Bhima smiles Beti, the past is always present, she says No such thing as bringing it up The past is like the skin on your hand it was there yesterday and it is here today It never goes anywhere Maybe when you re older you ll understand this better 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 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 Sera married into a family in which her mother in law was a maniac, constantly criticizing her when she lived with her husband s family Her husband turned out to be a true child of his mother, shielding his cruel side from her until after the marriage Gopal, Bhima s husband was the light of her life in the beginning of their 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 Thrity Umrigar image from the Washington PostThrough 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 The shame of Maya s pregnancy is mirrored by Sera s pride in Dinaz s Maya has an abortion, with the help of Sera, who had already rewarded Bhima s care of and loyalty to her and her children by paying for Maya s education 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 isthan 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 EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter and FB pagesItems Interview June 28, 2018 Caroline Leavitt s blog Article by TU May 5, 2016 Huffington Post Bernie Bros Made Me Finally Recognize Misogyny in America Washington Post I m not Salman Rushdie and other assumptions I m tired of hearing at book events by ThrityReviews of other books by Thrity Umrigar The Weight of Heaven 2009 The World We Found 2011 Everybody s Son 2016 The Secrets Between Us 2018 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 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 m glad I finished this Hard to read But This book is really well written and is food for thought I would like to readof this author, but need to take a break first A very sad story but in the end it does have a shimmer of hope Meh 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 SPOILER ALERT The one redeeming feature of the book to me was the fact that the two women characters in the book whose lives are profiled, do NOT find a way to bridge the class gap between them However, the flashbacks employed by the Meh 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 SPOILER ALERT The one redeeming feature of the book to me was the fact that the two women characters in the book whose lives are profiled, do NOT find a way to bridge the class gap between them 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 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 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 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 somethingbut I ll leave it at that I highly recommend this book and will certainly be reading Umigar s other books 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 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 as family Yet with their class discrepancies do they really know one another When one is betrayed are blood tiesmeaningful than family ties This book tackles so many deep questions while also being a simple story of daily life I read this when the book first came out There are otherrecent reviews wonderful reviews written on this site The story takes place in Bombay before the name change, Mumbai during a time when I visited myself Contemporary present day India when it this was written.Two women one upper class 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 There are otherrecent reviews wonderful reviews written on this site The story takes place in Bombay before the name change, Mumbai during a time when I visited myself Contemporary present day India when it this was written.Two women one upper class 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 love and loss are universal I have a few wonderful woman friends who are very different than me yet The Space Between Us seems to be just the ingredient that has us turn to each other during the greatest times of need Inspiring themes in this novel 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 knowabout the depths of the ocean, areacquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones 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 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 knowabout the depths of the ocean, areacquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones 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 But if this is true, surely the body also remembers each kindness, each kiss, each act of compassion 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 Set in modern day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women Sera Dubash, an upper middle class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household forthan twenty years


About the Author: Thrity Umrigar

A journalist for seventeen years, Thrity Umrigar has written for the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and other national newspapers, and contributes regularly to the Boston Globe s book pages Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize She teaches creative writing and literature at Case Western Reserve University The author of The Space Between Us, Bombay Time, and the memoir First Darling of the Morning Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood, she was a winner of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University She has a Ph.D in English and lives in Cleveland, Ohio from the publisher s website


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