Book Review: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar (4/5)

18 Sep

I read Umrigar’s memoir for my book club and followed that up with the oft-recommended The Space Between Us. When I found another Umrigar book on clearance at B&N, it was an easy decision for me to snatch it up.

Cover image via Goodreads

The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar

Other books by Umrigar reviewed on this blog:

The Space Between Us

Summary from the author’s website:

As university students in late 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable. Spirited and unconventional, they challenged authority and fought for a better world. But over the past thirty years, the quartet has drifted apart, the day-to-day demands of work and family tempering the revolutionary fervor they once shared.

Then comes devastating news: Armaiti, who moved to America, is gravely ill and wants to see the old friends she left behind. For Laleh, reunion is a bittersweet reminder of unfulfilled dreams and unspoken guilt. For Kavita, it is an admission of forbidden passion. For Nishta, it is the promise of freedom from a bitter, fundamentalist husband. And for Armaiti, it is an act of acceptance, of letting go on her own terms.

I love Umrigar’s depiction of modern India. I’m not sure how true it is, but I love it. There’s a unique blend of old and new, combining modern and traditional culture that I find really well done and really engaging. The four women in this book represent completely different people. They were bound together once by ideology and their commitment to a cause. Life took them in completely different directions and ripped two of them away but the world has a way of bringing people back together as it’s done in this novel. The husbands and children take a back seat to the main women and they have a good lesson about how female friendships, true friendships, stand the test of time.

The characters felt very real to me. I have my 10-year high school reunion coming up and I think about how different my life is from those of my high school friends, even this short while later. I can’t imagine how different they will be when I’m the age of these women. I thought the paths they’d gone down and the lives they led were logical conclusions from their college days and each of them was very unique and fleshed out.

Thrity Umrigar
Image via Goodreads

Kavita was my favorite character. She was most like me in many ways. She was passionate about her career and loved it, she had found someone who was special to her, and she was still close to her family. Laleh was too reactionary for me to relate to well. I’ve never had a life-threatening illness like Armaiti or been close to someone living through one so she wasn’t a character I connected with, either. Nishta’s situation was very unique and engaging to follow, but it was so different from myself that it was hard to see through her eyes.

I thought Adish was easy to relate to as well. He liked to fix things and I think that’s very much how I am at times. I hate when someone is upset or mad or fighting and I want to fix it. I don’t have the same financial pull that Adish had or the optimism he had that everything will work out.

Nishta’s idea of freedom dominated this book for me. At a young age, it was the freedom to follow the man she loved and defying her parents to do that. As she got older, it was freedom from the religion her husband pushed onto her. She didn’t agree with the man he’d become and felt distanced from him. As such, she felt trapped and wanted to be free from his control. While Iqbal once meant freedom, later escaping him did. Realizing that this had changed took her a while but seeing her come around to find that the world was different (thus the title!) was beautifully done.

Writer’s Takeaway: I applaud Umrigar for taking four women who were once inseparable and probably indistinguishable from the outside and turning them into four very different and unique women. Sometimes with large groups as the main focus, characters can run together but Umrigar’s never did.

I enjoyed this book a lot and I’m glad I grabbed it from the clearance shelf! Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
Book View: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar | The Blog of Litwits
Book Review: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar | Of Books and Reading
The World We Found | Necromancy Never Pays


14 Responses to “Book Review: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar (4/5)”

  1. Jeanne September 18, 2018 at 11:04 AM #

    Yes, the characters are quite fully realized.


    • Sam September 18, 2018 at 11:20 AM #

      I’m glad you agree. Thanks for writing your review. Happy reading!


  2. Robyn September 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM #

    I read The Space Between Us and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will have to check the one out as well!


    • Sam September 18, 2018 at 12:43 PM #

      That was a great read. I hope you enjoy this as well. Happy reading!


  3. notsomoderngirl September 18, 2018 at 12:04 PM #

    Fantastic post 🙂


    • Sam September 18, 2018 at 12:43 PM #

      Thank you. Have you read Umrigar before? Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • notsomoderngirl September 18, 2018 at 2:05 PM #

        I haven’t no!


      • Sam September 18, 2018 at 2:38 PM #

        I recommend starting with her fiction. I liked her memoir but it would have impacted me more starting with her fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Priyasha September 18, 2018 at 12:13 PM #

    Great review 😆


    • Sam September 18, 2018 at 12:44 PM #

      Thank you! Are you familiar with this author? Happy reading!


  5. k. a. n. September 18, 2018 at 12:37 PM #

    Interesting review! I will be adding this book to my to read list!


    • Sam September 18, 2018 at 12:44 PM #

      Wonderful! It well deserves your time. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Claire 'Word by Word' September 19, 2018 at 1:54 AM #

    Now you’ve intrigued us with your comment about your life being so different from your high school friends. I’m aware of this author and would like to read her work, it sounds consistently good.


    • Sam September 19, 2018 at 6:30 AM #

      I went to college out of state and most of my friends all went to the big school an hour away. I know we’ve gone very separate ways in our lives from Facebook stalking haha. Happy reading!


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