The Story Hour
Publisher Harper Collins, August 19, 2014
From the critically beloved, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us, whom the New York Times Book review calls a “perceptive and…piercing writer,” comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, family, secrets, forgiveness, and second chances
An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But 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.
Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn’t need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends.
But while their relationship is deeply affectionate, it is also warped by conflicting expectations. When Maggie and Lakshmi open up and share long-buried secrets, the revelations will jeopardize their close bond, shake their faith in each other, and force them to confront painful choices.
Thrity Umrigar has an uncanny ability to look deeply into the human heart and find the absolute truth of our lives. The Story Hour is stunning and beautiful. Lakshmi and Maggie will stay with readers for a very long time.
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America and The Hummingbird’s Daughter
With grace, wisdom and incredible compassion, Thrity Umrigar has woven together the lives of two seemingly dissimilar women who must learn—against steep odds—to forgive each other and themselves. Lakshmi’s voice and stories found their way quickly into my heart and didn’t let up, or let go. I dare anyone to resist her or this wonderful novel.
— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
“Lakshmi’s voice and stories found their way quickly into my heart and didn’t let up, or let go. I dare anyone to resist her or this wonderful novel.”
— Paula McClain, author of The Paris Wife
“Thrity Umrigar has an uncanny ability to look deeply into the human heart and find the absolute truth of our lives. The Story Hour is stunning and beautiful. Lakshmi and Maggie will stay with readers for a very long time.”
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter
“The two brilliantly imagined heroines of this novel will wring your heart by their longing to break cultural and economic boundaries and connect to each other, and by their terror of the secrets that rule their lives. I read deep into the night to find out how their stories end, and I predict you will, too!”
— Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of Oleander Girl and Sister of My Heart