Honor: Book summary and reviews of Honor by Thrity Umrigar

Honor by Thrity Umrigar X
Honor by Thrity Umrigar
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 11, 2022
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the moving story of two Indian women and the courage they inspire in each other.

When Indian American journalist Smita returns to India to cover the story of Meena, she sees a culture where the marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man is a source of family shame, a culture where being a woman is often shaped by violence. While Meena's fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. But she must also finally reckon with the privilege that becoming an American has given her, as well as face the trauma that led to her own family leaving India.

While on assignment, Smita also finds herself increasingly drawn to a man she meets. Yet the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures from which they emanate; Smita enters into a casual affair knowing that she can decide, later, how much it means to her. At what point will she reckon with what her American privilege has afforded her? And what does she owe the women of her homeland?

Fans of Etaf Rum's A Woman Is No Man will be gripped by the heartbreaking and perceptive story of Meena and Smita, two women trying to navigate how to live in a country where reprehensible things continue to happen, a country that they want, more than anything, to love and claim as their own. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

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This information about Honor shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Millicent G. (Cypress, TX)

Invisible Walls
Just recently I returned from a three week visit with my daughter and my grandchildren in Ireland after a two year Covid hiatus. Ireland is a land of stone walls, ancient and modern, intact and crumbling, high and low. Yesterday morning I woke up ready to read Thrity Umrigar's newest book for this review and yesterday evening I closed the last page. I tried to write my thoughts down last night but they were unformed and scattered. This morning I woke up with images of those walls in my mind and knew I had been connecting them to Honor.

We are surrounded by invisible walls in our lives...walls of religion, gender, skin color, politics, class, money, education, age, appearance, shame, expectations, nationality, illness, misinformation . These walls are also ancient and modern, intact and crumbling, high and low.

This book powerfully explores so many themes but the one that resonated most powerfully with me is that of the Invisible Walls surrounding all of us. What do we do with them when they become visible?

This book will be read and discussed by books clubs everywhere because there is so much in it that will move readers ... some just emotionally but some to action.

Ilyse F. (Freehold, NJ)

The Many Types of Honor
Honor is an apt name for a novel that explores all the ways that we can be honorable and all the ways that people commit atrocities and betrayals in the name of honor. The book has a dual story line. One is the family history of Smita, an Indian journalist who returns to India after many years away. The other is of Meena, a Hindu woman who has been hideously scarred in a fire that took the life of her husband. The fire was set by her brothers in protest of the fact that their sister married a Musim. Meena has now taken the brothers to court to be held responsible for their actions and to protect her and her infant daughter. The two women are brought together by Smita reporting on the trial. This is not a light read. It is really eye opening and educational about honor killings and the rights of women in India. I would highly recommend it.

Marianne L. (Syosset, NY)

Another Winner
Honor, the title of Thrity Umrigar's latest novel, serves as a cutting edge amid the twisting, perilous circumstances of two women in India. This is another well developed, thought provoking read. Like her other titles, her characters touch readers' hearts, provoking emotions of love, anger, and compassion. Cultural demands figure strongly in this drama, challenging the characters to examine fundamental meanings of womanhood, selfhood and freedom. This is a book that shines a bright light upon a dark reality we all need to know about. It is a book you will find it hard to put down. Don't miss this one!

Julie M. (Stacy, MN)

Umigar Does it Again
I forget what a great story teller Thrity Umigar is until I read her next book. She does not disappoint with Honor! This is a story of two women brought together by a tragedy. One living in present day India (Meena) and one who left as a young girl and returns as a journalist covering the crime (Smita). The compare and contrast of these two women is beautifully done and the memories of old India give way to hope for a new India.

B (USA)

Honor
Thrity Umrigar once again brings India alive on the page so that even those who have never been, feel as though they are at the center of all the sights and sounds of this country of contradictions. Her stories never fail to evoke deep emotion, and Honor is no exception. It is a heart wrenching account of two women whose lives are connected by brutality, grief, and loss, and their ultimate triumph over hate, each in their own different way. This is one book that I will remember for a very long time.

Susan T. (Bahama, NC)

Great book
I really enjoyed this book while it saddened me at the same time. An American Indian journalist reluctantly returns to the country she and her family fled when she was a young teenager to cover a story of another young woman who is being persecuted because of who she fell in love with and married. The book is very well written and engaging. The two main themes of the book are women's rights and persecution because of religious differences. The author alternates between the viewpoint of Meena and Smita giving you insight into how both women have suffered and still suffer because of the rules and laws that still dictate the lives of women in this country (and many others) unfairly today.

...31 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Thrity Umrigar Author Biography

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A former prize-winning journalist, she has contributed to the  Boston Globe , the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Author Interview
Link to Thrity Umrigar's Website

Name Pronunciation
Thrity Umrigar: thri-tee oomrigar

Other books by Thrity Umrigar at BookBrowse
  • The Weight of Heaven jacket
  • The Story Hour jacket
  • The Space Between Us jacket

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