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The Secrets Between Us: A Novel

(Between Us #2)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  3,581 ratings  ·  551 reviews
Bhima, the unforgettable main character of Thrity Umrigar’s beloved national bestseller The Space Between Us, returns in this triumphant sequel—a poignant and compelling novel in which the former servant struggles against the circumstances of class and misfortune to forge a new path for herself and her granddaughter in modern India.

"It isn’t the words we speak that make us
...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Harper
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Anita It is a stand alone, but I truly believe your experience would be much more rich if you read The Space Between Us first. It would really help to know…moreIt is a stand alone, but I truly believe your experience would be much more rich if you read The Space Between Us first. It would really help to know the back story and all the characters that are referenced.(less)
Anita Singh I think that question suggests that "men in their 30s" have a profile of things they would like - I don't believe gender should determine what books…moreI think that question suggests that "men in their 30s" have a profile of things they would like - I don't believe gender should determine what books people should read - if I did, I would stereotype a in-their-30s man to only like books about motorcycles, guns, sex or sports. None of which this book has.

But, I would like to think that we should be open to experiences and different perspectives - and if you are curious about the hardships and challenges of life and relationships in a city like Bombay for the poor, for women, and for non-dominant communities, this book is excellent. (less)
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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Will Byrnes
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
“It isn’t the words we speak that make us who we are. Or even the deeds we do. It is the secrets buried in our hearts.”

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Is it the special curse of women, to keep other people’s secrets and carry their shame? What would happen, she wonders, if all of them…simply put down their loads one day and refused to pick them up again?
Bhima is 65 years old, illiterate, and newly sacked. In her wonderful 2006 novel, The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar introduced us
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Jen
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grateful is how I am feeling. Grateful for this story that has threaded its way into my heart and makes me appreciate the life I have. For although there is always something that could be better, the lives of these women will make you rethink the positives and at least, temporarily, discard the negatives.

The sequel to the space between us, continues in this exquisite tale of a Woman, Bhima, who struggles with poverty and bringing up her only grandchild alone, until an opportunity presents
...more
Crumb
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Breathtaking and Riveting Conclusion to The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

Upon reading the opening paragraph, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was home. When I had finished The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar I felt a gaping void within me. I didn't know how to let go of Bhima and Sera. They are two of the most unforgettable protagonists I've ever experienced in literature. But worry I shan't. I found out soon after there was to be a sequel, The Secrets Between Us.
* * * * * * * *


In The
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Angela M
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the beginning, I was drawn in by the writing as I remember being when I read The Space Between Us. The story of Bhima, a poor servant continues as she works two jobs struggling to provide for her granddaughter Maya. I immediately felt as if I was back in the awful conditions, the poverty and dangers of a slum in Mumbai. It’s hard to believe that this is modern day India, but a quick internet search will lead you to numerous articles on the slums that exist in India today. As the sad things ...more
Esil
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few books by Thrity Umrigar, and I think this is my favourite so far. The Secrets Between Us features some of the same characters as her earlier book The Space Between Us. Set in Mumbai, India, the story focuses on Bhima and Parvati, two older women with difficult pasts living precarious lives. Bhima lives in a slum with her granddaughter, surviving on income made from cleaning and cooking for others. Parvati barely survives by selling six heads of cauliflower every day. Both women ...more
Lisa
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4+] Once I started The Secrets Between Us, I resented having to put it down, to sleep, to work. I bonded with each character and loved the way the friendships of the women, especially Bhima and Parvati, are at the forefront of this novel. The women have difficult lives, made bearable because of each other. Umrigar is a fine writer and cast a spell over me.
Kate ☀️ Olson
Hands down one of my favorite books of the year, and possibly all time. The Secrets Between Us is actually the sequel to The Space Between Us, and while many people have read this one as a stand alone, I highly highly encourage you to read both books in order. Book one is just as good and sets up all the emotional and family backstory to be able to fully engage with and understand this one. Trust me - it is 100% worth the investment of time
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Set in Mumbai, this feminist tale is one of poverty
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Alyson
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, adult, diverse-reads
Can I give this 6 stars?

Everyone needs to read The Space Between Us and then get ready to read this when it comes out.
Jeanette
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a favorite author and her tales are never boring. And they highlight Indian cities and life during the most modern times of change.

Having said that, I also have to post this. That this is so sad and filled with tragedy that it can hardly be held as an "enjoyable" read. I stopped 1/2 way through for some days while reading much lighter and more joyful.

If you like the "light at the end of the tunnel" kind of development of hope or tolerance or friendship surmounting all in a death hour
...more
Diane Yannick
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrity Umrigar knows how to write a book that draws me in and keeps me in its clutches until the very last word. Her characters have depth and there are no gratuitous characters or tangents. The meaning unfolds with beautiful prose that allows space for the reader to react on a personal level. Generally, I’m not big on sequels but liked The Space Between Us enough to preorder this one. Glad I did.

Thrity took a minor character Parvati, the vegetable vendor, and turned her into a driving force in
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Jo
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us was probably one of my best books of 2016. I don’t think I gave it five stars because of the relentless harshness of Bhima, the central character’s life, but it’s one I’ve never forgotten especially as the ending left me wanting more. I was thrilled, therefore, to see that Umrigar had written a sequel to that novel and enjoyed this one just as much, if not more.

The novel begins the day after the other left off and again, we follow Bhima and Maya, her
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Barbara
When I learned that Thrity Umrigar had written a sequal to her book 'The Space Between Us' I was really excited but a little bit nervous. After such a long wait, what if it turned out to be a massive disappointment? I quickly re-read the first book and fell in love with it all over again. Within a couple of paragraphs of 'The Secrets Between Us', all my fears were gone. The book picked up exactly where the other left off, same tone, same passion for life, same un-put-downable joy.

The Space was a
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Ann
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've loved everything I've read by this author.
Mainlinebooker
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Although this novel is a sequel to The Space between Us, it is perfectly fine to read as a stand alone. Heartbreaking,yet uplifting with coarse yet authentic dialogue, it had me mesmerized from the very start. Two women, living in the Mumbai slums, find their worlds intersecting as they try to eke out a living,beginning to understand and appreciate one another's strengths. Bhima, coming from a loving marriage, works diligently to try to provide an education for her granddaughter Maya. In the ...more
Carla Suto
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
THE SECRETS BETWEEN US by Thrity Umrigar is a beautifully-written and moving sequel to her bestselling novel, THE SPACE BETWEEN US. The sequel could be read as a stand-alone, but the story was even more meaningful to me because of everything I learned about the characters from the first book. Set in modern day Mumbai, THE SECRETS BETWEEN US picks up the story of Bhima, an impoverished servant who struggles against class limitations and sad twists of fate to provide a better life for herself and ...more
Laura Lee
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrity Umrigar is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled to see this sequel to The Space Between Us. This book is excellent, so sad and beautiful, wonderful writing. Read the first book first, though. This is just icing on the cake.
Paige
How does Bhima's past fit into her present? Are Bhima's misfortunes her greatest treasures? Are the secrets we carry a unifying element in our relationships? Is holding onto grief the way we legitimize the things we have lost or broken?

Thrity Umrigar takes you back to India where the first book, The Spaces Between Us, left off.
The Secrets Between Us allows you to peek into daily Indian life and culture through the eyes of two poor elderly females Bhima and Parvati.

Bhima is raising her
...more
Judith
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read and enjoyed "The Space Between Us", you should definitely read this sequel. I'm sure that the book could stand alone but I don't know if it would have the same impact without reading the first in the series. I almost gave up reading this because the descriptions of life in the Mumbai slum were almost unbearable and I don't doubt that conditions are as-described or worse. My heart breaks for those poor people who have no choice but to struggle for survival in the most deplorable ...more
Tracy
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many phrases from this book I meant to save.....so beautifully written! Sometimes you think it's the people who are different form you that can't see what's going on around you...and sometimes you find out it's you who isn't seeing.
Ahaaha4
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! Every sentence is so well written. One of those books you just don’t want to end. You read fast to get to the end but slow down at the end to prolong it. It is going to be hard to find my next read!
Naori
I would like to throw these pages into the sky so that when they fell back down, at least everyone got a few of her words. More to come once I’ve got some sleep...
Mrtruscott
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the prequel to this book a few months ago. I knew I would love this book, but I didn’t expect to blast through it so fast.

Now I’m sorry that I’ve finished my time in the parallel universe that an excellent book creates...the multi-layered world of Mumbai, the lives of women and men so defined by the caste system, and yet in the middle of tremendous change, the hustle that it takes to live in dire poverty — expending so much energy just to maintain a tenuous “ownership” of a sliver of a
...more
Gaele
Not quite knowing what to expect, the story instantly brought me to Bhima as she is continuing her journey to find a place in the world that is fulfilling and her own, despite the slums that surround her, the challenges, and the never ending list of things to do, get, or overcome. The one constant in Bhima’s day is the challenges, and these range from simple: earning enough for food and a roof over her head, to the struggle to provide for her granddaughter so she will finish university and move ...more
Joan Eisenstodt
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It is not absolutely required to read Thrity Umrigar's "The Space Between Us" before reading this book that is a sequel to it. It is however smart to do so -- because the writing in each and learning the background of the characters is so critical to understanding "The Secrets".

Ms. Umrigar's writing is magnificent - her ability to help us understand the setting, the people, the circumstances in which they live matters esp. for those of us who have not experienced cultures outside our own.

What
...more
Yari
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. A story about redemption, the love between family and friends, forgiveness.. just beautiful.
For those with sensitivity to strong language, brace yourself. Yet, even so, in the context of the story in makes sense. One of the best novels I've read so far.
Nikki
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Real readers will understand that it is rare to turn the last page of a special book and feel as if you've lived another life, if only for the duration of the novel. These characters will stay with me for a long time...
Lisa Cobb Sabatini
I won an Uncorrected Proof of The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar from Goodreads.

A powerful and empowering story about women, the bonds they forge, and the embers of hope they keep aflame, The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar is a formidable novel for our times.
Bhima must find a way not only to survive, but also to keep her granddaughter in college. Having been cast out by her longtime employer, feeling lost and alone, Bhima keeps putting one foot in front of the other, never realizing
...more
Laura
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible follow-up to what remains my favorite book of all time, The Space Between Us. Lyrical depiction of relationships, gender, societal change -- all set in Mumbai, which is itself a character in this real-to-life novel. A powerful book.
Simone
My friend, @owlslittlelibrary told me about this book and we even made it our October Words Between Worlds pick. "Read this book. It's amazing!" she said.

So I did. My friend was right.

This is the story about two older women from the same world, but different lives. One was just fired from her nearly 20 years of serving one family. The other lives on the door front of her nephew. You would imagine that their lives would never intersect, but oddly they do. They meet at a market when Bhima (the one
...more
Lisa
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Do all human beings keep secrets from one another?"

This is the second story of Bhima (the first book being, THE SPACE BETWEEN US). However, this can be read as a stand alone.

Bhima and Parvati are business partners. Their partnership and friendship starts out as a love/hate relationship. They go through many situations together that bring their relationship closer. However, it is their pasts that seem to torture them that bring out the worst in each other. The obstacles that they overcome to
...more
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A journalist for seventeen years, Thrity Umrigar has written for the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and other national newspapers, and contributes regularly to the Boston Globe's book pages. Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize. She teaches creative writing and literature at Case Western Reserve University. The author ...more

Other books in the series

Between Us (2 books)
  • The Space Between Us
“People think that the ocean is made up of waves and things that float on top. But they forget—the ocean is also what lies at the bottom, all the broken things stuck in the sand. That, too, is the ocean.” 4 likes
“It isn’t the words we speak that make us who we are. Or even the deeds we do. It is the secrets buried in our hearts.” 2 likes
More quotes…