The World We Found LP: A Novel Paperback – Large Print, Jan 3 2012
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“The World We Found is stunning in its credibility and nuance. . . . This is a novel that rewards reading, and even re-reading. The World We Found is a powerful meditation.” (Boston Globe)
“Luminous. . . . Wise and absorbing, Umrigar’s novel has the rich, chaotic vibrancy of a Mumbai marketplace.” (People)
“Asparkling and sharp slice of life.” (Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post)
“The World We Found is absorbing and resonant.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Umrigar renders a vivid portrait of modern-day India as she meditates upon the power of friendship, loyalty, and love. Like her previous works, The World We Found is eloquent and evocative, bitter and sweet.” (Booklist (starred review))
“There’s ample discussion to be had here on the topics of family, friendship, religion and marriage. Umrigar is a lively storyteller. The women are sympathetic characters, their relationships fully realized and deeply felt. . . . Umrigar’s evocative world is one worth finding, indeed.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Absorbing. . . . A rewarding novel.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A storyteller through and through, Umrigar ensures that her characters face up to the costs and consequences created by their choices, right or wrong, principled or unprincipled.” (Washington Post)
From the Back Cover
As students in 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable, but the quartet has since drifted apart.
When Armaiti, now living in America, learns that she is gravely ill, she hopes to see the friends she left behind thirty years ago.
For Laleh, reunion is bittersweet, but she promises to fulfill her friend’s wish. She convinces Kavita to put aside the past, and the two search for Nishta, who has long been hiding in a bitter, oppressive marriage. In the course of their journey to reconnect, the four women must confront the truths of their lives and acknowledge long-held regrets, secrets, and desires. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that just may help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India, The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
As students in 1970's Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable, but the quartet has since drifted apart. When Armaiti, now living in America, learns that she is gravely ill, she hopes to see the friends she left behind thirty years ago.
For Laleh, reunion is bittersweet, but she promises to fulfill her friend's wish. She convinces Kavita to put aside the past, and the two search for Nishta, who has long been hiding in a bitter, oppressive marriage. In the course of their journey to reconnect, the four women must confront the truths of their lives and acknowledge long-held regrets, secrets, and desires. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India, The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.
Laleh, Kavita, Armaiti and Nishta were once inseparable during college but over the years they had drifted apart. Armaiti is terminally ill and lives in America. Nishta is missing and the only one still in Laleh's life is, Kavita.
Laleh and Kavita still live in India and go to visit Mrs. Lokhanwala, Nishta's mother. She wasn't exactly sure where her daughter lived as the family is estranged. However, she gave them an envelope addressed to her with a return address circled in red.
Armaiti is divorced from her husband, Richard, as he had been unfaithful to her. After 5 years apart, he, along with their daughter, Diane, are taking care of her.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Laleh, Kavita, Armaiti and Nishta were fast friends and fellow revolutionaries in their Bombay college days 30 years ago. Now they've mostly lost touch, and their lives have diverged greatly, leaving them with little in common but a shared history. When Armaiti reaches out from America with news of cancer and a dying wish to have them all together one last time, they reconnect and prove that the sisterhood stands stronger than ever.
The contrasting experiences of these four women reflect the complex challenges facing a nation caught between the past and the present.
Laleh enjoys a marriage of equals with Adish, her college sweetheart.
Kavita is a successful architect. She is a lesbian, happy in her current relationship and aching to reveal her authentic self to her old friends.
Armaiti is the deserter. She's the one who ran off to America, and worse yet, married an American.
Nishta also married her college sweetheart, but Iqbal is no longer the liberal socialist she married. He has returned to his fundamentalist Muslim roots. He keeps Nishta on a short leash, essentially a prisoner in their home.
Nishta's plight becomes pivotal as the friends race against time and Armaiti's imminent death. This is where Laleh's husband Adish really shines, faced with divided loyalties and possessed of a chivalrous heart. Can he live up to his old reputation as "Mr. Fix-It" and come through for them one more time?
The World We Found has a lot to recommend it. Character development is superb. The presentation of modern Bombay's paradoxes is nuanced and fascinating. The book even has some expertly-paced suspense that will keep you turning pages right up to the end. Some readers may find the regularly shifting points of view distracting. It does at times interrupt the fluidity of the story, but Umrigar handles the transitions more deftly than many contemporary authors.
The essence of this story is that there are no friends like old friends. Neither changing fortunes nor the distance between us can break those bonds.
This is a beautiful book about female friendship - set in India. What will friends do for one another? What are the limits? What are the responsibilities? Each character is very much alive and 3-dimensional. I found myself caring very much what happened to them as they decided whether or not to go to America. I learned a lot about Indian culture, both secular culture and Muslim culture.
A fine, colorful, heart-felt novel. One of the best things I've read all year.
One of the friends is dying and summons the others to come to her before the end. How they get together, plan and execute this journey is the meat of the story and the book. They were young once, full of knowledge-or so they thought- of what is necessary for societies. They learn, each in their own way, that things are not that simple, that it is nearly impossible to turn around whole systems which have been in place ,perhaps, for centuries.
Love is not always recognizable, and contentment seems always distant. It may be a sad wisdom to find love and happiness right where you are or in what you had, but it is real. The conclusions are both true and somewhat ethereal. I cannot imagine that you will not love this book and its author.
On the contrary, "The World We Found" failed to spark my interest in the main characters and the themes discussed in the book. The novel follows the stories of four Indian women (Armati, Nishta (aka Zoha), Laleh, and Kavita) who had been inseparable in college and part of an active socialist movement. Only Laleh and Kavita remained in touch for the past 20 years since college.
The book begins as Armati, who had since moved to California, calls Laleh to tell her that she has been diagnosed with incurable, fast-acting brain cancer and wants Nishta, Laleh, and Kavita to travel from Indian to visit her before her death.
"The World We Found" follows the thoughts of the three women as they decide whether they should/should not travel to visit Armati and how all four women come to terms with their life since their socialist days in college. It also stories since college of the four women's partners and how they come to term with their status/role changes.
I found the "The World We Found" to be repetitive, as Umrigar spends too much time returning to the same stories from the four women's college days. It also was very cliché in that the relationships between the four women and their partners were entirely predictable. Even the lesbian interlude failed to spark my interest, as it follows a familiar path.
Umrigar tells most of the story by using dull dialogue. She rarely sheds light on anything but the common aspects of Indian society and she fails to develop the interesting historical stories in the book, such as the Muslim-Hindu conflicts. I hope that Umrigar's next book far surpasses the quality of this one, as she has previously shown that she can do.
We meet four women now approaching 50 who have grown apart. One moved to the United States and married a well-off American. Two of the women are still in touch. They have all lost touch with the fourth who married a Muslim in defiance of her family. Now one of the women is dying and wants to see her friends one more time. As the women come to grip with the news that their friend is dying, they remember their college years together. The dying woman also remembers and wants to see them just one more time.
The things we thought we knew, the things that were black and white when we were young - what happens to them? "Life happens." What a wonderful, joyful, sad, and exhilarating statement. Ms. Umrigar knows that nothing is simple. Life isn't simple.This is one of those books with so many layers of thought and ideas. It would make for an extremely lively book club meeting - one that might even go late in the night!
Ms. Umrigar knows how to weave a skillful narrative about these four women against a backdrop of class, money and political power. Life is messy and glorious. It's a good lesson told in a joyful way.