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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Thrity Umrigar won the Nieman Fellowship and earned a finalist spot for the PEN/Beyond Margins award with The Space Between Us. Set in modern-day India, this evocative novel follows upper-middle-class Parsi housewife Sera Dubash and 65-year-old illiterate household worker Bhima as they make their way through life. Though separated by their stations in life, the two women share bonds of womanhood that prove far stronger than the divisions of class or culture.

©2005 Thrity Umrigar (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    124
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    3
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    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    94
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    35
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    3
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    6
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Story that stays with you

The story of Bhima and her granddaughter Maya is s searing one. Having been forced to go from tiny but respectable apartment to the slums, Bhima continually tries to keep moving forward. It is hard to review The Space Between Us without giving the story away. I'll just say I recommend this to readers who can take a trip through a difficult and twisting story. I am still chewing on the ending and will go back and listen to that part again. Excellent narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

ordinary

ordinary.
narration is irritating at times with child like mimicking voice. story is melodramatic. not real content. very ordinary.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary

What did you like best about this story?

The depiction of characters that at first glance ... vastly different. Yet, this author so exquisitely wove this tale that ultimately revealed how alike we are no matter our geography, social class or race.

What does Purva Bedi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Beautiful voice, sensitive and nuanced performance ... brilliantly done

Any additional comments?

This is such a beautiful story ... the characters truly come to life. In my top 3 of audible books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Learn about the caste system in India

If you could sum up The Space Between Us in three words, what would they be?

Great cultural experience

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Learning about the way the poor treat the poor; the rich and the servants

What about Purva Bedi’s performance did you like?

Great expression and portrayal of emotion;

Any additional comments?

the story sometimes gets bogged down in too much description, more that needed;

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Predictable, Melodramatic

I really expected to enjoy this book but was disappointed by the predictable storyline which became obvious very early on. I normally love hearing Indian accents but I found the narrator to be overly dramatic . The idea of juxtaposing the lives of a wealthy woman with a poor servant was interesting but all of the characters seemed to be flat and one dimensional. I found the ending to be unbelievable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thrity Umrigar is a born storyteller

I read this book when it came out. Recently listened to The Secrets Between Us (sequel about the servant, Bhima. Also, excellent). And, immediately listened to The Space Between Us, enjoying it as much the second time as the first. Excellent narration. Umrigar never disappoints -- such a compelling story with characters I cared about. They share stories revealing the cores their lives as servant and employer, caring about each other while their education, economics and culture in India mean one lives with much and one lives with little. As women many of their experiences are similar.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Memorable story and characters

And beautiful language. Sometimes I don’t agree with 5 star ratings but this book deserves all 5 and more.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dull. Avoided listening to it due to boredom.

I am struggling to understand how any one could give this book more than one star. I usually plow through my audibles in a few days and a month later, with 3 credits in my account I gave up and bought a different book. There is no spoiler alert in this review because there is no part in the story that I could reveal.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Last One of These

I won't ever read another book about India and its women. The lives they lead in a country that likes to pretend it is in this century - Bollywood at all - is not. The writing was excellent, the imagery was lovely and the character development was fine, but the conditions under which these women live is very hard to take. The caste system is obviously still alive and well and the ranking of people put the women at the bottom of every list. It's more than I can bear tor read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Now let's close that space...

This book was recommended to me by my close friend and mentor, and she had been telling me for a long time to read this book because the author was Indian and a Clevelander. I waited far to long, but I did wait for the right moment when i would be able to appreciate it in its entirety. Once again Thrity tackles class, colorism, social status, and privilege. This book filled me with love and then ripped it all away and made me angry. You feel the space. You feel the wide and deafiningly silent space between the characters, and then I begin to reflect on the spaces in my own life.

Thrity's books and especially this book takes you on this rollercoaster ride across generations and helps you understand and accept life with all its ups and downs, especially the downs. Especially with the heart wrenching, life changing downs. It makes you realize some effed up nature of life.
Through the stories of the characters we see parts of Bombay as it is. We smells the smells, hear the sounds, and feel the push of the throngs that flock there. We experience the slums and then we experience the nice privilege of the upper class people. We also learn a lot about cross cultural interactions in India, and opens up perspective of the world in general.

I loved reading this book because it flowed so well, even though the subject material was painful at times to read. I loved it because it took me home. I loved it because it exposed everything that we as an Indian population need to tackle ... Goodness I love Thrity's story telling, and I have so much to learn about how she weaves these tales.

The narrator was pretty good with the accents. But in the first few minutes she pronounced the word lived ... in short lived or long lived very strange, otherwise she did an amazing job.