The World We Found
By Thrity Umrigar
Harper January 2012
ARC Provided by Harper Collins
Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were the best of friends during college. They studied together, laughed together, and protested together in 1970s India. Time and circumstance have pulled the friends apart, but when Armaiti learns that she has a brain tumor she knows that there is no one she needs more than her three friends. A visit will not be so simple though. In addition to the literal ocean between the women in India and Armaiti in the United States, money and religion have changed the lives of these once inseparable friends. The women will have to deal with secrets from the past before they can be there for each other in the present.
This is the first novel I have read by Thrity Umrigar. The characters are beautifully drawn – even secondary characters are incredibly nuanced. I loved that none of the characters was a villain. Instead, each character makes choices that hurt their relationships with their friends and with their loved ones. Umrigar also does an excellent job of subtly invoking place and teaching readers the Indian history that has shaped the characters. Through the story, we learn of the political discord between those who have money and those who do not, as well as the prejudice that Muslims and Hindus hold against each other.
This book explores the schism between the life you anticipate and the one you experience. In college, the women are optimistic about their futures. In the present, life is very different than their expectations. Relationships are hidden, friendships seem lost, and lives are lived in secret.
I really enjoyed reading The World We Found. The story ended and I found myself wishing there were more pages, more time to spend with these four fascinating women. This novel is for anyone who believes that friendship can last forever, regardless of place or circumstance.
Interest piqued? Head over to S. Krishna’s Books, where a great discussion of the novel is underway.
To the guys and gals of the FTC: I received this ARC from Harper Collins. The opinions expressed here are my own.