Posts Tagged Thrity Umrigar

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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in the realm: Summer Reading Part II

henna house

Henna House by Nomi Eve [Scribner]
–It’s Yemen in 1920 and according to the Orphan’s Decree, any un-betrothed orphaned Jewish child will be adopted by the Muslim community. Adela leads a perilous life when her parents die and she flees with her extended family to Aden. The novel covers the traditions of the Yemenite Jews, to the far-ranging devastation of the Holocaust, to the birth of the State of Israel.

angel of losses

The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman [Ecco]
— Marjorie, discovers her grandfather Eli’s notebook– where he chronicled mystical secrets and enigmatic stories. Marjorie embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

story hour

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar [Harper]
–psychologist Maggie usually maintains an emotional distance from her patients. 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 who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store. Maggie can relate to Lakshmi because she’s married to an Indian immigrant. She treats her for free in her home office and the women become close friends.

italian wife

An Italian Wife by Ann Hood [WW Norton]
–in turn-of-the-century Italy, fourteen-year-old Josephine Rimaldi gets forced into an arranged marriage with a man leaving for America. She gives birth to seven children and the novel follows Josephine and her children and grandchildren.

american blonde

American Blonde by Jennifer Niven [Plume]
–In 1945, former pilot Velva Jean Hart is a war heroine. Now Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer promises to make her a star. They give her a new life story and a brand new name. As Kit Rogers she navigates movie sets, recording sessions, parties, staged romances and real-life romance, finding herself caught between a charismatic young writer and a mysterious musician from her past. When a friend dies mysteriously and the most powerful studio in the world launches a cover-up, Velva Jean goes in search of the truth— risking her own life, as well as her heart, in the process.

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