Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

The Story Hour

Posted by nliakos on May 23, 2015

by Thrity Umrigar (Harper Collins 2014; ISBN 978-0-06-225930-1)

I picked this novel up from the “New and Recommended” shelf at my local public library last week. Its subject was just what I like: the chronicle of a cross-cultural relationship. In this case, the two people are Maggie Bose, an African-American psychologist who is married to an Indian university professor, and Lakshmi Patel, an Indian immigrant from a poor family who is trapped in a loveless marriage. They meet after Lakshmi attempts to kill herself, and Maggie becomes Lakshmi’s therapist. Almost immediately, this professional relationship begins to change into something more personal, when Maggie spontaneously offers to work with Lakshmi for free following her discharge because there is something about the younger woman that appeals to her.

The professional lines become more and more blurred as Lakshmi begins working for the Boses and their friends and Maggie teaches her to drive. But both women harbor terrible secrets which, when they are revealed, bring about huge changes in the women’s lives. Some of the changes are positive, and others are devastating.

I don’t want to spoil the novel by being too specific! I will just say that if you like cross-cultural themes and novels about women’s friendships, you should read The Story Hour.

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