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The World We Found Lp: A Novel [Large Print] [Paperback]

Thrity Umrigar
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 29 2011
Thrity Umrigar, acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven, returns with a breathtaking new novel—a skillfully wrought, emotionally resonant story of four women and the indelible friendship they share. Fans of Jennifer Haigh’s Faith, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, and Katrina Kittle’s The Kindness of Strangers will be captivated by Umrigar’s The World We Found—a moving story of bottled secrets, unfulfilled dreams, and the acceptance that can still lead to redemption, from a writer whom the New York Times calls “perceptive and often piercing.”

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Review

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.


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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. June 6 2012
By Jj
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed parts of the book and offline the details of the Indian city and culture mixes to be interesting; I kept waiting for the real story to begin. I was surprised the book ended where it did. I did t mind it. But I wouldn't read it again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! Feb. 21 2012
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Story Description:

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.

My Review:

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.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World We Found March 23 2012
Format:Paperback
I have read all of Thrity Umrigar's novels and always she writes clearly, simply and with emotional power. The Weight of Heaven nearly broke my heart. The World We Found is so hopeful and so sad at the same time. Her novel The Space Between Us is gut wrenching. What a wonderful writer! The World We Found: A Novel
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  139 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Friends, New Challenges in Modern India Nov. 10 2011
By Someone Else - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Traditional attitudes still linger in India, but they're not held equally in all quarters of Indian society. Some Indians are more liberal than many Americans, while others cling desperately to the old ways and steep themselves in fundamentalist practices. Thrity Umrigar highlights that clash between the old and the new in this story of renewed friendships in modern Bombay.

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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFULLY PENNED ENTHRALLING NOVEL Jan. 20 2012
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rich with insight, heart, and warmth Thrity Umrigar's fifth novel brings us the story of four college women who were the closest of friends in 1970s Bombay.
Believers in Communism, they shared their deepest secrets, participation in demonstrations, and hopes for a better India. Decades pass and their lives have changed radically with idealistic dreams giving way to reality. For the most part they have lost touch with one another.

Armaiti is the only one who has left India - she came to the United States, married an American, and gave birth to a daughter, Diane, who attends Harvard. According to her mother Diane is typically American, a girl with nothing of Armaiti's "spice and vinegar." However, those qualities will soon be lost as Armaiti has been given six months to live and her last wish is to see her three friends again, to be together one more time.

Laleh is married to a rich Indian businessman and wants to get the trio to Armaiti as soon as possible. Kavita who once had feelings for Armaiti is now an acclaimed architect and in love with a German colleague. Neither has the faintest idea of where to find the fourth friend, Nishta. They're shocked to finally locate her in a dingy apartment in a poor section of Bombay. She did marry the Muslim boy she loved in college, Iqbal, but he has changed. After the Hindu-Muslim riots he became a devout fundamentalist, forcing Nishta to take an Islamic name, wear a
Burqa, and care for his mother who makes no secret of her dislike for the woman he chose as a wife. He will never allow Nishta to go to America even to visit a dying friend.

The action shifts between India and the U.S. as each is preparing for the reunion in her own way. While doing so they remember the past, difficult times, happy times, hopes, promises, seeing all of that through the prism of the present.

The World We Found is a beautifully penned enthralling novel allowing us to share the joys and sorrows experienced by two women but also by India itself.

- Gail Cooke
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL NOVEL Nov. 9 2011
By Patricia L. Marks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Have you ever read THRITY UMRIGAR'S work ? If yes, then you will welcome THE WORLD WE FOUND. If she is new to you then get this book, or one of her other writings and prepare to be delighted in her eye for characterization, turns of phrase; complex yet wholly understandable tales of human virtues and foibles.
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TEN stars for this beautiful book. April 18 2012
By K. Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Four girls who were best friends during college have lost touch. Now they are middle-aged, each living her own life. Then they get a request from one of the friends who is dying in America - can you come, just one more time before I die? It seems like a simple request, but turns complicated right away.

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Happens: The World We Found Feb. 18 2012
By Kinseysmom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm not sure how I missed one of the finest novelists I've read in a long time. Having just finished this wonderfully compelling and beautifully written novel (which I read in less than two days because I was virtually unable to put it down!), I realize that I have found an author who I will want to go back and read everything she has written. I'm already making a mental note to look for her next book.

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.
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