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The Secrets Between Us
The Secrets Between Us: A Novel | Thrity Umrigar
Bhima, the unforgettable main character of Thrity Umrigars beloved national bestseller The Space Between Us, returns in this triumphant sequela poignant and compelling novel in which the former servant struggles against the circumstances of class and misfortune to forge a new path for herself and her granddaughter in modern India. "It isnt the words we speak that make us who we are. Or even the deeds we do. It is the secrets buried in our hearts." Poor and illiterate, Bhima had faithfully worked for the Dubash family, an upper-middle-class Parsi household, for more than twenty years. Yet after courageously speaking the truth about a heinous crime perpetrated against her own family, the devoted servant was cruelly fired. The sting of that dismissal was made more painful coming from Sera Dubash, the temperamental employer who had long been Bhimas only confidante. A woman who has endured despair and loss with stoicism, Bhima must now find some other way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya. Bhimas fortunes take an unexpected turn when her path intersects with Parvati, a bitter, taciturn older woman. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership, selling fruits and vegetables at the local market. As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer, each confessing the truth about their lives and the wounds that haunt them. Discovering her first true friend, Bhima pieces together a new life, and together, the two women learn to stand on their own. A dazzling story of gender, strength, friendship, and second chances, The Secrets Between Us is a powerful and perceptive novel that brilliantly evokes the complexities of life in modern India and the harsh realities faced by women born without privilege as they struggle to survive.
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review
alisonrose
Pickpick

While not quite on par with The Space Between Us, this was still such a poignant read. I love how well the author writes all kinds of relationships among women, whether family, friends, or foes. And I specifically liked the progression of connection between Bhima and Parvati. The pain and misfortune they both experience is shown honestly but never feels gratuitous or exploitative of the real people they represent. 4/5 ⭐️

quote
alisonrose

Is it the special curse of women, to keep other people‘s secrets and carry their shame? What would happen, she wonders, if all of them—Parvati, Serabai, Sunitabai—simply put down their loads one day and refused to pick them up again?

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alisonrose

She feels a scream start from deep within her at the irony of this situation. Will she never have a say so in any aspect of her life? she wonders. Does she have no more choice in deciding her own destiny than one of her cauliflowers? Like them, she has been bought and sold, sliced and diced, moved from one corner of the city to another.

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alisonrose

At her age, time has stopped flowing in a linear fashion; rather, it ebbs and swirls, creating a whirlpool at its center that on most days swallows her whole. Her yesterdays have lost their bite; it is her todays that come bearing down with fangs and claws that she has to watch out for.

blurb
alisonrose
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After a DNF, I always try to pick something I feel extra sure about, and since this is a sequel/follow-up to a book I loved (The Space Between Us), I am certainly optimistic ☺️ #nowreading

review
Come-read-with-me
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Pickpick

Sympathetic, lively, and colorful women dominate this story that explores relationships across economic, religious, generational, and cultural themes. It is wonderfully written and the characters highly compelling. It celebrates the ability of these women to draw strength from one another in a way that celebrates all that makes them different.

12 likes1 stack add
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Jas16
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Pickpick

Two incredibly strong women forge a relationship solely for financial survival at first but become as close as family as they learn to trust each other. With the support of the other they each grow and begin to reconcile themselves with their pasts. I didn‘t love the last couple of chapters but otherwise this was everything I wanted from a sequel to The Space Between Us and more.

BookNAround I really enjoy Umrigar‘s writing. 5mo
74 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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HardcoverHearts
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This feels like an ultimate Galentines Day read. The women in this book are written with such care and attention, set in a backdrop of such aching poverty. The push and pull of self-preservation mixed with desire to give and receive kindness is at the heart of this story. I‘m only 1/3 of the way through and am already in love with all the women in this book.

29 likes2 stack adds
review
Tamra
Secrets Between Us | Thrity Umrigar
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Pickpick

👍🏾👍🏾 Not plot driven, but really compelling character writing. I started this audio book before I realized it was a follow-up to The Space Between Us. No matter, because it stands alone. Loved Thrity‘s writing and looking forward to more.

mrp27 I really liked The Space Between Us, so good! I can't wait to get to this one. 1y
Tamra @mrp27 I was hoping to listen to that one, but no luck at the library. I do have the e-book so print it shall be. 🙂 These busy days I‘m getting thru a lot more via audio. 1y
89 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
FaithfulReader

It isn‘t the words we speak that make us who we are. Or even the deeds we do. It is the secrets buried in our hearts.

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review
EJG31
Pickpick

Excellent book. Check out my full review on Goodreads: #Edelweiss+ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35959168-the-secrets-between-us

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Pandalibrarian
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Pickpick

Wow - this was an amazing read! It's been a while since I read The Space Between Us but it was still easy to pick up the story (though a re-read is in order). The main thing that I'm taking away from this book is that it's never too late to learn, grow, start a new business, make new friends, and reconnect with the past. One of the many quotes I wrote down is this - "that a life without trust is not worth living." So true!

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GirlWellRead
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Umrigar's story is about love, loss, struggle, class, and misfortune due to circumstances. Her words read like fine poetry and are a sharp contrast to the cultural brutality that is depicted. I have had the pleasure of reviewing her before, and this certainly won't be the last. Her writing is captivating and thought provoking and I highly recommend this series.