From the critically beloved, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us, whom the New York Times Book Review calls a “perceptive and... piercing writer,” comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, family, secrets, forgiveness, and second chances.
An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store.
Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn’t need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends.
But while their relationship is deeply affectionate, it is also warped by conflicting expectations. When Maggie and Lakshmi open up and share long-buried secrets, the revelations will jeopardize their close bond, shake their faith in each other, and force them to confront painful choices.
The sixth novel from Umrigar (The Space Between Us) is a deeply moving portrait of connection, disconnection, and missed connections set in an unnamed Northeastern university city. Maggie Bose is a black psychologist married to an Indian man; when an Indian woman, Lakshmi, is admitted to the hospital after a suicide attempt, Maggie is assigned the case. She understands the woman's sense of isolation, and offers to treat her pro bono. Lakshmi is lonely, married to a man who doesn't love her, and she works without pay in his grocery store and restaurant. Maggie tries to befriend Lakshmi by telling her stories about her life. When Lakshmi brings food as thanks, Maggie and her husband encourage the patient to accept catering jobs in order to earn her own money. Soon, the lines blur between patient and friend. A secret from Lakshmi's past and the impulsive action that follows her discovery of Maggie's affair change their lives. Although Umrigar is sometimes heavy-handed, this compassionate and memorable novel is remarkable for the depth and complexity of its characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The story hour
Loved the story. One of the best books I have read lately. Very very moving. We all make mistakes in our lives and sometimes its very hard to even figure out why we do what we do. Love the way the characters grew and dealt with their issues. It was very interesting to learn more about Indian culture.
Strong start but odd, disconnected ending..
I appreciate the author's story vision and for half the book it came through fairly well, but the last pages are quite flat, void of content and disappointing. I stuck with the story until the end and it was a waste.
He/She adds "s" where there shouldn't be "s." The sentences aren't worded correctly.