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February 2, 2016

Tuesday's First Chapter, First Paragraph - The Space Between Us


Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading. This week I'm sharing the  paragraphs that make up the prologue to The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.  The Space Between Us was published in 2006 and I've owned the ARC of the book since 2005. I've heard nothing but great things about this novel, so it's high time I give it a try. I started reading the book last Thursday and I'm looking forward to spending the day, curled up on my couch, reading while the snow falls. Yes, we got a snow day, thanks to the blizzard conditions outside!! I can't remember the last time I got to stay home and do nothing but read! :)


The thin woman in the green sari stood on the slippery rocks and gazed at the dark waters around her. The warm wind loosened strands of her scanty hair, pulling them out of her bun. Behind her, the sounds of the city were muted, shushed into silence by the steady lapping of the water around her bare feet. Other than the crabs that she heard and felt scuttling around the rocks, she was all alone here--alone with the murmuring sea and the distant moon, stretched thin as a smile in the nighttime sky. Even her hands were empty, now that she had unclenched them and released her helium-filled cargo, watching until the last of the balloons had been swallowed up in the Bombay night. Her hands were empty now, as empty as her heart, which itself was a coconut shell with its meat scooped out.

Balancing gingerly on the rocks, feeling the rising water tonguing her feet, the woman raised her face to the inky sky for an answer. Behind her was the lost city of a life that at this very moment, felt fictitious, and unreal. Ahead of her was the barely visible seam where the sea met the sky. She could scramble over these rocks, climb over the cement wall, and reenter the world; partake again in the mad, throbbing, erratic pulse of the city. Or she could walk into the waiting sea, let it seduce her, overwhelm her with its intimate whisperings.

She looked to the sky again, searching for an answer. But the only thing she could hear was the habitual beating of her own dutiful heart...

I've read close to 100 pages and am thoroughly enjoying this book. At this point, I have no idea which character the prologue is referring to. 

Happy Tuesday, friends! Visit Bibliophile By the Sea for more introductions.

16 comments:

  1. You've got a Snow Day! You lucky duck! ;) I will picture you curled up with your book, as am I. I took the day off due to Too Much Birthday For Just One Girl (lots of effort into my dear mother's celebration, worth every bit, but I'm exhausted!). I just love the dog book, and am saving the chocolate, and am glad to know that you're enjoying The Space Between Us as I bought it on my nook for one of their Daily Finds. Woot woot! xoxoxo

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    1. Yes! We rarely ever get snow days (from work - the schools always get out for snow) and it was quite a treat, although I didn't get paid since I had already used all my vacation time for my travels in 2015 (and my anniversary date isn't until April 1st), but it was worth it. So nice to be lazy and read the day away. :) I could really get used to that... If you look at my post for today, you will see how Annie and I spent the day. It was lovely. I'm glad you had a day off, too, and I'm glad your mother's celebration went well. I'm so pleased that you like the dog book (I knew you would!) and the chocolate. Isn't that packaging gorgeous? Oooh, I look forward to talking to you about The Space Between Us. It's SO good! Have you read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry? The Space Between Us reminds me a little bit of that novel. Only two more days until the weekend. Woot woot! :)

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  2. I had a lady I worked with at the library who loved this author's books and I always meant to read one. Will look for your review. I know she is beloved by many. Stay warm!!

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    1. Kay, one of my friends keeps telling me how good Umrigar's books are, so I'm glad I finally decided to pick this one up. It's very good! I almost didn't want to set it aside for When Breath Becomes Air.

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  3. I read this several years ago, and the visual images remain in my head.

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    1. Jenclair, that's so good to know. To me, that's the sign of a great book.

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  4. Beautiful beginning. I love the author's description: moon, stretched thin as a smile; rising water tonguing her feet. I'd keep reading just to savor more of this lovely writing.
    My Tuesday post features GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE.

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    1. Sandra, I loved those descriptions, too. Her writing is very vivid and I have a feeling I'll read more by her in the future. Thanks so much for stopping by with your comment.

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  5. This is one of the few print books I have with me here in FL. After reading and loving The Story Hour in December, I'm looking forward to The Space Between Us. Glad to know you're enjoying it!

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    1. What a coincidence, JoAnn! I'll be anxious to hear what you think of the book when you get to it. And, I most definitely need to break my rule of reading from my stacks and get a copy of The Story Hour, if it's anything as good as this earlier work.

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  6. I loved this one so much!!! Enjoy - u are getting all of our snow this year.

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    1. Diane, I'm really enjoying the book! As far as the snow, not so much. Too wet and heavy and somewhat of a nuisance. But at least it looks pretty right now, with the sun shining on it.

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  7. I got this book as an ARC in 2005, also, and I remember absolutely loving it. I must have gotten it for HarperCollins' First Look program. Did you review for First Look?

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    1. No, Nancy, I think I got the ARC from work. Oh, wait. I wasn't working at B&N in 2005. Hmmm. Not sure where I got it then, but I wasn't involved with First Look. Maybe my sister-in-law gave it to me. Or a book box from one of the Yahoo groups? Who knows. In any case, it's a winner!

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  8. What a great book to spend a snow day reading!

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    1. Nise' I wound up setting it aside to read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I couldn't resist and quickly devoured the first half of the memoir before finally telling myself to go to sleep. I think February will turn out to be just as enjoyable as January, with regard to my reading. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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