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Review: Honor by Thrity Umrigar

Title: Honor

Author: Thrity Umregar
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)India

SummaryIndian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

Review: Oh this is such a good book! I read part of it before I began my trip and I fnished it before I got on my first flight because we were so delayed. The Indian woman next to me took the book to read on the plane.

All of the characters in this book are suffering from religious and/or caste conflict yet it plays out differently for each of them depending on their personal religion or caste. I like that we saw all of the viewpoints through Smita's eyes. And in the end, we realize that she, too, is dealing with similar issues.

The topic of journalistic integrity and involvement also plays a role in the story as does how much we are willing to do for friends and strangers. 

Umrigar treats each of the characters (and I include the villages and the city of Mumbai as characters) with respect and depth, showing the reader how each is influenced by everything and everyone around them. I was pulled into the story immediately and didn't want to put the book down.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Author): U

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