Part two of the Between Us series by Thrity Umrigar picks up on Bhima's story from The Space Between Us. Bhima had been a servant for the last 20 years and she lost her job when she spoke up against a crime that was committed against her family. What is more painful to her than losing her job is the loss of the relationship with her former employer, Sera, who was her only confident in her otherwise lonely life. Bhima must now find a way to make ends meet for her and her granddaughter, Maya.
Her luck seems to change with the chance meeting with Parvati, a bitter and street-wise older woman. They form an unlikely relationship from acquaintances to business partners. Each woman fills the voids in the other that were created by their pasts. Bhima has made her first true friend.
Although set in modern day India, there are some horrific and almost barbaric things that are almost unbelievable in today's society. Then again, we live in the western world and cannot fathom what life is like for women in India, especially poor and illiterate ones.
Umrigar's story is about love, loss, struggle, class, and misfortune due to circumstances. Her words read like fine poetry and are a sharp contrast to the cultural brutality that is depicted. I have had the pleasure of reviewing her before, and this certainly won't be the last. Her writing is captivating and thought provoking and I highly recommend this series.