The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maggie and Lakshmi are opposites in many ways: Maggie is a professional African American psychologist married to an Americanized Indian man who loves and respects her. Lakshmi is an immigrant Indian woman married to a man who basically treats her like garbage. However, both women are also similar in that they are both haunted and still affected by their past. Umrigar does a nice job braiding these women's stories and lives together until a culminating event unravels their bond and changes their lives.
Despite the fact that the main characters were extremely flawed, I enjoyed the novel. The characters were complexed and damaged and they rattled me in a way that kept me reading even though I often wanted to slap them. I also loved the story within a story aspect of the novel and how it was used to provide complexity, background, story-building and allowed the characters to reflect on their lives and past mistakes. I definitely look forward to reading more of Thrity Umrigar's work.