The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The book is a surprising story of how two dissimilar women of unequal status and "caste," had they been in India, share commonalities, after all. The book is named for Maggie's profession, a therapist and the way she explains it to an immigrant woman who has recently attempted suicide. The Indian woman does not understand and figures it is a sort of friendship and steps over the boundaries time and again until the two are friends of a sort. Yet the divide is ever present in that one sees the other as a maternal figure, unshakable and wise. Turns out, all of the characters are fallible and human.
The stories told are from the perspective of the Indian woman's childhood but also somewhat allegorical. I'm still thinking about the stories. The bottom line is that both women carry the wounds of their childhood and attempt to compensate in sometimes destructive ways. I loved the author's voice and writing style. There was some wonderful wit with the cultural divide and nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout. Deeper than I had anticipated. I liked it quite a bit.