Author: Thrity Umrigar
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: January 4, 2022
Book Description: In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.
Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.
In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: The complex story about two very different women will be the talk of 2022 and I predict a lot of awards.
Smita arrives in India after her friend has an accident and needs surgery. They are both journalists and she is asked to complete the story of Meena a Hindu woman who married a Muslim man and is now on trial. Smita who moved the United States when she was 14 had no intentions of returning to her birthplace, but felt compelled for her friend.
The story of Meena is much more complex as this stories progresses. As we learn more about her relationship with her husband and her daughter. She has been to hell and back but stands by her decisions.
This is ultimately the story of two very strong but different people and their relationships with the men they love. Nothing about this story is light and breezy, but is a thought provoking story about culture and life choices. This is a great read to start 2022.
Thank you NetGalley and Algonquin Books for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.