Thursday, March 17, 2016
The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
This is the first book I've read by this author, though she has written five. Based on the strength of this one, I would definitely pick up one of her others. It is a story about friendship, love, and second chances--all things the world needs more of, so it should have wide appeal. An experienced psychologist, Maggie (who usually manages to maintain emotional distance from her patients), treats a young Indian woman, Lakshmi (who has tried to kill herself). Seeing that Lakshmi is cut off from her family in India (so she is lonely and isolated), and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store, Maggie's professional detachment evaporates and she crosses the professional line and tries to help her. As Maggie and Lakshmi's relationship deepens, and personal and professional lines are blurred even more, long-buried secrets come to light that force them to confront painful choices in their own lives. The viewpoints of these two very different women are written very well and wisdom and compassion shine through.