The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

the space between usSet in modern-day Mumbai, The Space Between Us follows two drastically different women: wealthy widow Serabai and Bhima, her longtime servant.  Their friendship, strained by class differences and the secrets Bhima keeps for Serabai, is tested further when Bhima’s granddaughter becomes pregnant and drops out of the college that Serabai pays for.  The novel alternates the focus of its omniscient third-person narration, so the reader is privy to both Serabai and Bhima’s perspectives.

Quote:
“Bhima felt as if she barely recognized the city anymore — something snarling and mean and cruel had been unleashed in it.  She could see the signs of this new meanness everywhere: slum children tied firecrackers to the tails of the stray dogs and then laughed and clapped with glee as the poor animals ran around in circles going mad with fear.  Affluent college students went berserk if a five-year-old beggar child smudged the windows of their gleaming BMWs and Hondas. […] It was as if the city was mad with greed and hunger, power and impotence, wealth and poverty.”

Author:
Thrity Umrigar is a journalist and the author of several novels, including Bombay Time and The World We Found.  She has also written a memoir, First Darling of the Morning, about her childhood in Bombay, India.

Published:  2005
Length:  315 pages
Set in:  Mumbai, India

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