|The Story Hour|
Published August 19, 2014; Harper
Genre: fiction, women's fiction
Objective rating: 4.5/5
The power of stories to heal and connect. That seems to be part of the message of this novel by Umrigar, with its intriguing characters and storyline.
Two very different women are brought together by fate and circumstance - the unhappily married immigrant to the U.S., Lakshmi, who is healed by and in turn helps to heal her psychologist and friend, African-American Maggie, by telling Maggie stories of her life growing up in India. Both women are married to Indian men, have sad memories of mothers who died when they were younger, and both women harbor secrets from their past that hamper their lives in the present.
These two are fully developed characters and their interaction, not always a smooth one, brings the novel to life in a vivid and affecting way. Don't miss reading this book if you get the chance.
Book description: An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man...
Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn't need a shrink; she needs a friend....When Maggie and Lakshmi share long-buried secrets, the revelations jeopardize their close bond and force them to confront painful choices. (publisher)