IF TODAY BE SWEET by Thrity Umrigar

Umrigar Here is the second book recommendation from Island Bookstore: If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar. According to the Powell's website, the book is about Tehmina Sethna, a 60 year-old Indian woman whose husband has died. "[S]he is visiting her son, Sorab, in his suburban Ohio home. Now Tehmina is being asked to choose between her old, familiar life in India and a new one in Ohio with her son, his American wife, and their child. She must decide whether to leave the comforting landscape of her native India for the strange rituals of life in a new country."

Also from the Powell's site:

If Today Be Sweet is a novel that celebrates family and community. It is an honest but affectionate look at contemporary America — the sterility of its suburban life, the tinsel of its celebrity culture, but also the generosity of its people and their thirst for connection and communication. Eloquently written, evocative, and unforgettable, If Today Be Sweet is a poignant look at issues of immigration, identity, family life, and hope. It is a novel that shows how cultures can collide and become better for it.

Here is a review from BookReporter of the book that gives away a fair number of plot points, but concludes: "… Umrigar is not playing for plot; she’s writing to explore the nuances of life on the margins. What does it mean to lose your partner? Can a single elderly woman make a difference? Is it better to be honorable, or successful? And tell me — where is the Amer-Anglo-Indian border? In Umrigar’s beautifully evoked universe, it’s shifting all the time."

This book reminds me a bit of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. It really sounds good.

Also, here are the results of last week's EDIWTB book giveaway:

Folly: Kristen

Breaking Her Fall: Ti

Abide By Me: Michelle

Money Changes Everything: Josie

Have You Seen The Horizon Lately?: Stephanie

Only Child: Vicky

Congratulations to all of you! I will be in touch with you for your mailing address. Thanks to everyone who entered.

One comment

  • June 10, 2008 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read this one, but your description reminds me of Digging to America by Anne Tyler, which deals with the very same issues. It’s a great read if you haven’t read it.

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