The World We Found
You might think you know the story: four women meet in college determined to change the world, only to discover that life holds unexpected surprises for each of them. But in the hands of Thrity Umrigar, the bestselling author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven, this basic plot is polished to a memorable sheen.
Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta meet as students in the late 1970s in Bombay. Impassioned revolutionaries, they vow to change — and make a mark on — the complex cauldron that is India. Despite their best intentions, family, geography, work, and religion intervene and the friends drift apart.
“What’s the clarifying principle here, you mean? Remeber how we used to try and solve all political arguments by asking that question, Lal? It’s amazing how we were ever stupid enough to think there was a single answer. Because there isn’t one. . . . Life happened. In all its banality, brutality, cruelty, unfairness. But also in its beauty, pleasures, and delights. Life happened.”
When Amraiti, who has settled in America, learns she is dying, she wants nothing more than to see her old friends once again. Amraiti’s request prompts each woman to look back on the years that have passed since they were last together discovering a world rich in possibilities.
As Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta reconnect with one another before embarking on their trip to America to see their dying friend — they acknowledge the things that came between them. “And it was embarrassment — embarrassment at their inability to live up to their own dream of themselves — that had made them drift apart.”
Acceptance is the key to their being able to rediscover and reclaim their lost world.Laleh must forgive herself for an act of omission before she can move forward. Kavita knows it is time to let her friends into the world she shares with her partner, Ingrid. Nishta must find the courage to defy the orders of the husband she can hardly recognize: no longer a free-spirited revolutionary, he has become a rigid fundamentalist. And Amraiti must unflinchingly embrace the world she will soon be leaving.
The World We Found is a haunting story of the ways these friendships ultimately weather the divisive cultural, religious, political, and economic forces that define contemporary India. Umrigar has created a vibrant world, by breathing new life into a familiar plot and by telling her simple, yet compelling, story with grace, wit, and infinite wisdom.
The World We Found is available on amazon.com and at your favorite New York bookstores.