Author: Thirty Umrigar
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Description: 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. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I picked up this book due to hearing about it through a number of book blogs talking about the book during the last few weeks of August and being intrigued with the premise of the book, I placed a hold on the book from my local library.
For the most part, I liked the structure of going back and forth between Maggie and Lakshmi and how their friendship developed. But I did find that the dialect of Lakshmi to be distracting at times, as I wished that the author would have done her in third person as well, but I can understand the need to show some difference between the two main characters and that it helped to show the distinction between the two. But having both characters would have made getting through the Lakshmi chapters a little easier.
While I liked the story in general, I felt that I could not identify with the characters. I realize that they were meant not to be perfect, but I did wish that what they did they hadn't done. I suppose if that had happened, one wouldn't have had a story.
Bottom line: The book seemed to conclude on a satisfying and fitting end. And would probably recommend this to readers that wish to diversify their reading and also to bookclubs that have an interest in women's fiction. Recommended.
Pages for 2014: 22,314