Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
Just before Christmas, I was having a nostalgic craving for a good old-fashioned Christmas shopping experience at a local book store. Problem is - there aren't any anymore. So we ventured to Mac's Backs Books on Coventry , which is a little out of the way, but one of the only authentic bookstores of miles around. We milled around, lingered, lifted books off the shelf and read a few pages. That is how I found The Story Hour by local author Thrity Umrigar. Turns out Umrigar received an M.A. From Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University. I read the cover flap and decided to continue my abstinence from book buying and get it from the library - digital loan.
The Story Hour is a novel in two voices. The narration alternates between an Maggie, an African-American psychologist married to a professor and her client Lakshimi, a younger Indian woman from a small village who helps her husband run his Indian grocery. Laksmimi has attempted suicide, which precipitates her relationship with Maggie, who she meets in the hospital following her botched attempt. A relationship develops between the two woman and, through various plot twists and turns, their lives become irrevocably intertwined.
I enjoyed the book enough to say I would recommend it. Both women are terribly flawed and vulnerable, which is why their stories seem so true.