Friday, July 23, 2010

Thrity Thursdays or "The Space Between Us" Readalong (Friday Version!)

Welcome to the Friday edition of Thrity Thursday! This is what happens when you agree to a review date without checking your calendar. At least my fellow readers were on top of things:

Ti at Book Chatter
Dar at Peeking Between The Pages
Staci at Life In The Thumb
Kathy at Mommy's Reading
Booksync at Book In The City
Bailey at The Window Seat Reader
Mari at Bookworm With A View
Amy at The House of Seven Tails

Chapters 16-20
In these chapters, we find that Maya and Bhima have taken to walking down to the beach every evening and it's reviving Maya and softening Bhima. It's also giving Bhima time to reflect on the past.
"They say that when something is very beautiful, the Gods of Jealousy notice it. Then, they must destroy it. Even if it's their own creation, it's beauty begins to make them jealous and they are afraid it will overshadow them. So they destroy the very temples that they have built."
We learn the story of how Bhima's once wonderful marriage was torn apart after Gopal suffered an accident at work and began drinking heavily.
"..it was then that she knew the gods had played a trick--they had kept Gopal alive, but they had taken away that essential something that makes a man want to keep on living. Gopal was like an empty shell of a clock whose insides had been removed. There was nothing to keep him ticking anymore."

Sera also reflects back on Feroz's last days. Sera is shocked when Viraf calls Feroz a "king" immediately after his death and realizes that as soon as someone dies we begin to forget their faults.

My Thoughts
It was so difficult to watch Bhima's life crumble around her. Umrigar touches on the issues of business versus workers, illiteracy, and classism. When Gopal is injured at work, he is taken to the government hospital and develops an infection. The hospital is not really treating the infection until Bhima asks for Feroz and Sera to step in and help. Bhima, who is by now acutely aware of how much she suffers because of her illiteracy, at first believes that Feroz is able to wield power because of his education. But when she sees a doctor cowered by him, she is forced to confront the fact that it may have happened because Feroz is Parsi, since the doctor is also educated. I couldn't imagine how hard it must have been for her to realize that there was a chance that even with an education, her son might never be able to rise to the top, something she had pinned her hopes for the future on.

Next week: the final chapters. I'm so grateful that so many of you encouraged me to read this book--it is every bit as good as you said it was! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you do.

5 comments:

  1. I loved this book! I think it's better than The Weight of Heaven - I connected more to the characters (which might explain this).

    I will post next week - since I'm two weeks behind, it's best to one final post at this point.

    Wait until you read the last part!

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  2. Reading all these posts has made me anxious to read this book!

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  3. I also posted Thrity Thursday on Friday! Love that you pointed out the specific issues Umrigar focuses on in these chapters. I could go on and on about education vs. n0 education. I feel badly for Bhima when she realizes that being educated, although better for a person's chances in life than not being educated, isn't a gaurantee of a good life.

    I'm looking forward to as well as dreading the last few chapters!

    ~ Amy

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  4. This has been a fun reading experience for me Lisa!! Thanks for hosting it!!

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  5. I really can't wait to see your reaction to the final chapters. You have touched on so many of the important pieces along the way and shared some beautiful passage selections to entice others to pick it up for themselves.

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