Space Between Us, The
Set in Mumbai, this is a novel of two women and their families: Sera and her maid Bhima whose relationship is longstanding and cordial. However when Sera pays for Bhima's granddaughter's education, a series of events are set in play that threaten the well-being of both families, exposing the class conflicts and injustices underpinning their lives. This is not only a vivid social commentary of India, but an examination of the universal tension between friendship and family loyalty.
Comments from Groups
We all enjoyed the book. It provoked a good discussion about the relationship between the two families, the contrast between the wealthy and poor and the importance of an education. Tauranga 028
This was a very successful read, most thoroughly enjoyed it. Excellent discussion on a range of issues. Nelson 023
A great read, best one for 2012. It invoked heated discussion on class barriers and personal experiences - although we are all white, middle-class women! Whangamata 001
A very insightful book, full of truths we never speak. Christchurch 229
A memorable book, flowed well, very sad. An example of human resiliance. Katikati 002
A well-written and enjoyable read.
It was a really good read. We felt the ending left us hanging and wanted a little bit more. It was very thought provoking.
Overall the book was enjoyed by the group.
In a fairly unusual consensus, we had a 100% positive response to this superbly written, very moving novel. All now keen to read the 2 sequels.
Although the lives of people portrayed in the book were often tragic, especially Bhima's, there is a tiny flicker of hope at the end. We all wondered if there might be another to follow this. The writing was imaginative and the characters believable. recommended for insights into other ways of life.
Not a comfortable read, as it raises huge issues: abuse of women, power of men, the horrors of the caste system, dreadful poverty and the power of wealth... However, group members felt that it was very well-written and they were glad they had read it.
Not everyone finished it this month unfortunately. Those that read it felt it was ok. Probably not something they'd necessarily recommend. Most disappointed with the ending.
The group felt disturbed by the story, and it provoked an in depth discussion on human rights. A "good read" - quality book.
Overall opinion - a fascinating depiction of two women's lives, each from vastly different backgrounds. We all loved Thrity Umrigar's expressive poetic writing, her wonderfully crafted characters and storytelling of two parallel universes.
Superb writing; thought-provoking.
Almost everyone in the group enjoyed this book. It is a well-written, engaging and believable story of relationships, especially between two families and their matriarchs. The special aura of India is especially well rendered, and many aspects of life portrayed so realistically enabled sensitive discussion. We would recommend this book to any thoughtful group!