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Customer Reviews for

Space Between Us

Average Rating 4
( 225 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(92)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Compelling, emotional read!

This book is a glimpse into a world which describes the Indian culture, set in Bombay; a story of Sera Dubash, an educated and wealthy widow and Bhima, her illiterate maid. The story explores the challenges women face in their relationships with men and how the conseque...
This book is a glimpse into a world which describes the Indian culture, set in Bombay; a story of Sera Dubash, an educated and wealthy widow and Bhima, her illiterate maid. The story explores the challenges women face in their relationships with men and how the consequences of these difficulties are starkly different depending on education and class. The women have surprisingly similar lives and struggles. Both have experienced love and loss. They have suffered greatly because of their mistakes and because of the misfortune of being born a woman. Each has an unhappy marriage. Bhima's husband has abandoned her after an accident robs him of three fingers and his manhood. He leaves her and takes Bhima's son, whom she never sees again. Sera has a vindictive mother-in-law and a husband who abuses her physically. There are many layers and was a wonderful source of a many layered discussion in my book club, class and culture, struggle to cope, loyalty, abuse, prejudice and much more. This is truly eye-opening, emotionally wrenching, a compelling, engaging read! I recommend!!

Others I recommend, some from reading in my book club, others I read on the side and loved, I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, PERFECT, EXPLOSION IN PARIS.I, personally, LOVE books that glory in the woman's triumph, fight for womanhood.

posted by LCH47 on May 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but predictable

At first glance this book sounded wonderful, however, by the end I was let down and little bored. The comparison of class was presented nicely and I was very much transported to India, however the character development left a lot to be desired. The main characters ca...
At first glance this book sounded wonderful, however, by the end I was let down and little bored. The comparison of class was presented nicely and I was very much transported to India, however the character development left a lot to be desired. The main characters came across flat and while I sympathized with Bhima's situation it felt forced. The ending was predictable as the character involved gave away clues to readily throughout the story. I would have loved to have seen more secondary character development with the young girls.

posted by GiveMeABookAndCoffee on September 27, 2012

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling, emotional read!

    This book is a glimpse into a world which describes the Indian culture, set in Bombay; a story of Sera Dubash, an educated and wealthy widow and Bhima, her illiterate maid. The story explores the challenges women face in their relationships with men and how the consequences of these difficulties are starkly different depending on education and class. The women have surprisingly similar lives and struggles. Both have experienced love and loss. They have suffered greatly because of their mistakes and because of the misfortune of being born a woman. Each has an unhappy marriage. Bhima's husband has abandoned her after an accident robs him of three fingers and his manhood. He leaves her and takes Bhima's son, whom she never sees again. Sera has a vindictive mother-in-law and a husband who abuses her physically. There are many layers and was a wonderful source of a many layered discussion in my book club, class and culture, struggle to cope, loyalty, abuse, prejudice and much more. This is truly eye-opening, emotionally wrenching, a compelling, engaging read! I recommend!!

    Others I recommend, some from reading in my book club, others I read on the side and loved, I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, PERFECT, EXPLOSION IN PARIS.I, personally, LOVE books that glory in the woman's triumph, fight for womanhood.

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A twist of fate ...

    In The Space Between Us, Ms. Umrigar takes us to the world of modern-day India, a land with many internal differences and conflicts. What she presents us with is the basic class divisions between two worlds: namely, the upper middle-class and the poor. These divisions are depicted through the everyday interactions of the two main female characters, Sera and Bhima, respectively. Ms. Umrigar has deftly created two wonderfully complex women and has given them life. You will identify with and feel compassion for each woman as she struggles in life and ultimately, decides her own fate. You will come to see that there are some bonds that outweigh class and/or culture divisions - that kindness and mercy know no divisions.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found it to be beautifully written. I recommend it to those looking for a taste of India, interested in great character development or anyone else who wants a good book.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Beautiful and moving

    "The Space Between Us" is the story of a middle-class Parsi woman, Sera, and Bhima, her servant. Bhima's home in the slums sharply contrasts Sera's sparkling, large home. The two women have forged a connection through their years together, their families linked inextricably. The story brings into focus the vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots of India, exploring with gorgeous subtlety the meaning of loyalty and of freedom.

    Umrigar's language is lush and descriptive but not a word is wasted. She is able to create a detailed world and to place the reader in the shoes of several different characters. A fascinating story carries her timeless message about the need to further question class divisions and the other lines we construct that separate us from each other. A gorgeous novel; highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    very enjoyable read

    would ask the Anonymous reviewer from March 30 where the servant / worker storyline has been portrayed with more flair, skill, or panache ??
    Perhaps The Remains of the Day....pls cite examples...for my additional reading pleasure
    Have begun Ms. Umrigar's new novel "The Weight of Heaven" and from the very beginning it pulls us into a new vibrant world. For me, the hallmark of a piece of fiction is its ability to lift me out of my seat and transport me to destinations unknown, and then return me to my seat a changed person....

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2008

    Couldn't put this novel down for a second!

    Thrity Umrigar has done a wonderful job of bringing the characters in this novel to life. You will cry with them, laugh with them and be shocked as they are. With Bhima and Sera and Maya, the reader gets a taste of life in modern India and the realization of how connected all humans are in the struggle we call 'life'.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2012

    Interesting but predictable

    At first glance this book sounded wonderful, however, by the end I was let down and little bored. The comparison of class was presented nicely and I was very much transported to India, however the character development left a lot to be desired. The main characters came across flat and while I sympathized with Bhima's situation it felt forced. The ending was predictable as the character involved gave away clues to readily throughout the story. I would have loved to have seen more secondary character development with the young girls.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2011

    TheSpace Between us

    It is always interesting to read about another culture, but I felt the ending was a let down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2008

    A PAGE TURNER

    I loved this book. It was both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. THANK YOU THRITY! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Beautiful!

    Emotional words, stark contrasts along with poignant similarities between the lives of two women come together to create a beautifully woven story. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Must Read

    Really enjoyed this book; it kept my interest from start to finish. I wanted it see what would happen next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Good read, until the ending

    This book held so much promise for me. I was enjoying the story, the characters and the descriptions about the environment that these two main characters are set in. As I read the book I told friends about the wonderful story I was reading. That was until the non-ending. What a disappointment. I actually turn back the page and re-read the last page assuming I must of missed something. I would loved a ending that was written with the same detail as the rest of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Incredible!

    I love love loved this book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Shadow

    She telleports back to darklight

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Nook Book did not contain discussion questions...Questions were thought provoking. Publisher should include all pages in ebook. I emailed Barnes and Noble regarding this and have not received an answer as to why ebook did not contain all pages available in non- ebook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2008

    beautiful

    I highly recommend this novel. The author has a beautiful writing style and is able to transport the reader into the lives and surroundings of her characters. I definately recommend this book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    I was transported to India!

    This is a very interest story of two women whose lives are intertwined, yet so seperate. This novel provides an excellent glimpse into the culture of India, and the complex issues of women all around the world. My only criticism is that I felt the book had too many flashbacks, whereas it was informative and allowed us to better understand the characters, at times I found it a bit distracting. This is just my personal opinion, based on my preference. I also felt there were parts that seemed to drag. But overall, it was a good novel that captured my attention, and I would recommend. Especially for people who enjoy reading about the lives of women around the world.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2007

    A wonderful read

    I couldn't put this book down. I loved the relationship between these two women and their families and, even though they claim to be so close, the reality is there is a large space between them. I recommend this book to any woman who likes a story about women and friendship--you will enjoy this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    graceful

    This was a wonderful read! I really couldn't put the book down once I started it. The characters, the words, the themes were all filled with such depth. You will truly feel like you are living in Bombay with Bhima and Sera. Their stories, the pain, the happiness - we can all share in this. What a gracefully told story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2006

    One of the best on contemporary India

    This novel is beautifully written. Umrigar potrays two different worlds one being the world of genteel parsis while the other is that of India's poor and the downtrodden. Although, these worlds exist, literally, a few feet apart, the enormous figurative gulf between them and Umrigar's evocative potrayal of this distance and closeness between these two worlds makes this book an instant classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Excellent Read

    The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is because I didn't like the way the ending left things unfinished. Other than that, it was a very powerful read. I learned alot about the Indian culture and grew to really love the characters and didn't want to see this book end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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