book review: The Story Hour

story hour

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar. Publisher: Harper (August 19, 2014). Literary fiction. Hardcover.  336 pages. ISBN13: 9780062259301.

Disappointing. I liked the title and general premise– though I was semi-hesitant that a psychologist would befriend a patient. After a decade with my therapist, I had both his cell number and work number but we never socialized outside of scheduled appointments. As much as I considered him my friend I paid him to be such a confidant. I stopped two-thirds into The Story Hour when I realized I cared nothing for these characters. Not only did I not care but I learned very little about them. There’s hardly any character development and little plot.

It started off fairly interesting in that a therapist began treating an Indian woman who has been living in the states for six years after she tries to kill herself. I never got to the reason. This therapist, Maggie, is African-American and married to an Indian man. She’s also having a dispassionate affair with a white guy. She loves her husband yet keeps hooking up with this guy. She can’t explain why and she’s a therapist. Lakshmi and Maggie become friends but Lakshmi isn’t educated and her husband’s controlling. Maggie helps Lakshmi learn to drive and get some catering and cleaning work so she can have some independence. Then it bounces to India before Lakshmi married and moved here. The narration swaps between Maggie and Lakshmi. The Lakshmi chapters told in broken English. The author just didn’t progress any plot-line enough. I didn’t like or dislike either woman to care what became of them to finish the novel. That’s not good.

RATING: 1.5/5

–review by Amy Steele

<em>FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins. </em>

purchase at Amazon: The Story Hour: A Novel

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