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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

The World We Found

The World We Found - How and in what ways should the idealism of young adulthood influence mature adult lives? That’s the central question grappled with in this thoughtful, character-driven novel as four Indian friends come together one last time because on of them is dying. In the late 1970s the four young women were inseparable, and part of a revolutionary movement hoping to change the world; now in their 50s they’ve all settled in different ways into adult lives. Laleh and Nishta both married the rebel boyfriends of their youth, but Laleh’s husband has become a wealthy businessman, while Nishta’s has embraced his once neglected Muslim faith and isolated her from her Hindu family and friends. Kavita is now cautiously accepting her lesbianism; ironically she never felt comfortable sharing her sexual orientation with her best friends back when they were fighting together for social justice. After being disillusioned by a trip to Czechoslovakia, a country whose communism seemed much less ideal than she had thought, Armaiti went to graduate school in the US and married an American. It is Armaiti who is dying, and it’s her request that they all get together again, but that will take finding Nishta who with her Muslim husband has somehow dropped out of sight. There isn’t a lot of action in this novel until very close to the end, when suddenly the plot races along at heart pounding speed, but author Thirty Umrigar brings readers inside her characters’ heads to reveal their trains of thought, letting us see, for instance, what it might feel like to have only six months to live, or how living through India’s violent 1993 religious riots might affect a formerly lapsed Muslim. There are no simple answers to the central question, how should youthful idealism inform adult lives, and the characters, especially Laleh’s husband Adish, struggle with it throughout the book. In the end Adish finds he may have to do something he knows is wrong to accomplish something he hopes is right.