Tuesday, February 21, 2012
THE WORLD WE FOUND (THRITY UMRIGAR)
As students in 1970’s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable, but the quartet has since drifted apart. When Armaiti, now living in America, learns that she is gravely ill, she hopes to see the friends she left behind thirty years ago.
For Laleh, reunion is bittersweet, but she promises to fulfill her friend’s wish. She convinces Kavita to put aside the past, and the two search for Nishta, who has long been hiding in a bitter, oppressive marriage. In the course of their journey to reconnect, the four women must confront the truths of their lives and acknowledge long-held regrets, secrets, and desires. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India, The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.
Laleh, Kavita, Armaiti and Nishta were once inseparable during college but over the years they had drifted apart. Armaiti is terminally ill and lives in America. Nishta is missing and the only one still in Laleh’s life is, Kavita.
Laleh and Kavita still live in India and go to visit Mrs. Lokhanwala, Nishta’s mother. She wasn’t exactly sure where her daughter lived as the family is estranged. However, she gave them an envelope addressed to her with a return address circled in red.
Armaiti is divorced from her husband, Richard, as he had been unfaithful to her. After 5 years apart, he, along with their daughter, Diane, are taking care of her. Richard and Armaiti only broke the sad news to their daughter 5 short days ago and told her that her mother only had 6 to 8 months to live. Compounding the problem, Armaiti is refusing treatment. Diane is totally shocked and can’t understand her mother’s reasons for not having the treatment but Armaiti is “firm” in her decision.
Armaiti picked up the phone one day to call Bombay, India to invite her 3 friends to come to America to see her. Laleh and Kavita are coming but they didn’t know about Nishta yet as they had yet to find her.
Once Nishta was found, she was living in a crowded run-down neighbourhood and had changed her name to Zoha and wore a full burqa at the demand of her husband, Iqbal, who isn’t very kind to his wife.
Laleh and Kavita finally convince Zoha to go to America with them but Iqbal isn’t going to allow Zoha to go with them and has taken her passport. Will Zoha ever get to America?
Beautifully written, explaining the bonds of friendship, this is a stunning novel for all to read.