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Review: The Story Hour

January 22, 2015

The Story Hour

When Lakshmi, a young Indian immigrant is hospitalized after she tries to commit suicide, she refuses to communicate with anyone in the hospital, so Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Bose is called in to work with her.  For some reason, Maggie can relate to Lakshmi – a woman living in a foreign country who feels trapped in a loveless marriage – and agrees to treat her for free after she’s released from the hospital.

Along with her husband, Maggie is determined to help Lakshmi and their relationship quickly evolves to friendship.  When the two women learn each other’s deepest, darkest secrets, their friendship is challenged and may not survive.

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar is the story of an unlikely friendship that totally captivated me.  Maggie is a well educated woman who is moved by the plight of a woman she feels is trapped in a loveless marriage and she is determined to help her.  Lakshmi may be uneducated but that doesn’t mean she’s not smart and talented.  They both have their flaws so they felt very real to me.  I thought they were both terrific and could relate to each of them a little even though they’re both very different from me.

The point of view alternates between Lakshmi and Maggie with Lakshmi’s story told in broken English.  At first, that bothered me but I quickly realized it’s an excellent way for readers to empathize with her situation and I came to love it.   The ending is somewhat open ended but I thought it was perfect.

In case you can’t tell, I loved The Story Hour – it was one of my favorite books of 2014.  It’s only the second Umrigar book I’ve read but she’s quickly become a favorite of mine.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
31 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2015 7:07 am

    I like this one as well, but didn’t love it. The broken English was rough to read IMO.

  2. January 22, 2015 7:24 am

    Great review Kathy. I’m going to add this to my To Read list. I wonder what the secret was that almost destroyed their relationship.

  3. January 22, 2015 7:38 am

    I’ve only read one Thrity Umrigar and have been looking for a second one to read sometime. This one sounds amazing! I will have to look for this one.

  4. January 22, 2015 7:44 am

    Well gosh, maybe I need to read this.

  5. January 22, 2015 9:49 am

    I must read Umrigar… have a feeling I’ll love her books.

  6. January 22, 2015 10:13 am

    I’ve read several of her books and liked them all. The immigrant stories are such emotional reads. Like them.

  7. January 22, 2015 10:54 am

    Kathy, I’ll bet I would also enjoy this book about an unlikely friendship a lot. Excellent review!

  8. Beth Hoffman permalink
    January 22, 2015 11:29 am

    Terrific review, Kathy! I’ve had this book on my reading list for a long time and need to move it up closer to the top.

  9. January 22, 2015 12:32 pm

    My cousin just recommended this to me. If you and she liked it, I am sure to like it as well!

  10. Literary Feline permalink
    January 22, 2015 12:32 pm

    She is one of my favorite authors, but I have yet to read this one. I am glad you liked it, Kathy!

  11. January 22, 2015 12:41 pm

    This has been on my list for a while. Loved your review!

  12. January 22, 2015 12:54 pm

    I skipped this one but have read her other books. It’s just me, I’m sure, but I find her books to be too stereotypical almost cartoonish. That sounds horrible because I think she writes beautifully but the characters seem a litle stereotypical, at least to me.

  13. January 22, 2015 2:59 pm

    I loved this one too!

  14. January 22, 2015 3:03 pm

    Everything I’ve read about this book has been positive. I’m going to add it to my (long) tbr list! 🙂

  15. January 22, 2015 4:11 pm

    I realised yesterday that I so need more..well normal fiction in my diet 😉

  16. January 22, 2015 7:15 pm

    Good review Kathy. Book and author are both new to me, but you make an appealing case for reading it. It’s going onto my list.

  17. January 22, 2015 7:20 pm

    I think you just moved this book up my to-read list!

  18. Ryan permalink
    January 22, 2015 7:23 pm

    I was on the fence with this one, but I think you just pushed me over.

  19. January 22, 2015 7:28 pm

    I enjoyed this book too.

    Nice review.

  20. January 22, 2015 8:38 pm

    I’ve not read this author, but this does sound very good. I promised myself that I would not add any more books to my TBR list, I guess I’ve just broken my promise.

  21. Patty permalink
    January 22, 2015 10:06 pm

    Oh I did like this book, too!

  22. January 22, 2015 10:50 pm

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so much!

  23. January 22, 2015 11:36 pm

    I loved this book so much – it’s also in my top books of 2014 list.

  24. January 23, 2015 1:08 am

    What a beautiful review, I have to move this book up!! I have to be careful not to topple the book stacks though..ha ha.

  25. January 24, 2015 8:04 am

    I’ve read one book by Umrigar and enjoyed it. I just added this to my TBR list because of this review. 🙂

  26. bookingmama permalink
    January 24, 2015 9:35 am

    This was wonderful! You definitely need to go back and read some of her earlier books. She’s an amazing author.

  27. January 24, 2015 10:07 am

    I liked this one a lot too. She’s a great writer and I’ve enjoyed several of her books.

  28. Elizabeth (Need More Shelves) permalink
    January 24, 2015 2:42 pm

    I really struggle with reading dialects, so I haven’t picked this one up, but I am rethinking that now.

  29. January 25, 2015 10:10 am

    This one sounds great. I’m looking forward to it!

  30. January 25, 2015 11:16 pm

    Despite that fact that I’ve hear her speak (loved) and met her at a book expo a few months ago and she was charming, I STILL haven’t read one of her books. I really need to make this a priority.

  31. swright9 permalink
    February 1, 2015 5:28 pm

    Sounds like a good premise. Your review has won me over. I’ll look for it. thanks!

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