Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Space Between Us - Thirty Umrigar

The Space Between Us

Title: The Space Between Us

Author: Thrity Umigar

Summary: The Space Between Us is a fictional look at the relationship between two very different women. Set in modern day India the novel explores how class affects the lives of women. There are two main characters which the novel moves between. One woman is an upper class Parsi housewife, Sera Dubash and the other is her servant of twenty years, Bhima. The novel reveals the similarities that each woman has by focusing on domestic abuse, loss, and disappointments. The novel begins with the disappointment in Bhima’s life that affects not only herself but Sera and her family. Maya, Bhima’s seventeen year old granddaughter, is pregnant and unmarried.

While Maya was away at college, which Sera paid for, she involved herself with a mystery man and became pregnant. At first she refused to hear Bhima and Sera requests that she abort the baby. Bhima hounds the girl each day about the pregnancy, desperate for the knowledge of who had done this to her granddaughter. Exhausted Maya tells Bhima the name of a young man at her college. Bhima travels to the college on loaned money from Sera to confront the man. What she finds is not only does the young man completely deny his involvement in Maya’s pregnancy but he also does not really know who Maya is. Disappointed and completely hopeless for Maya’s future she tells the girl she must get rid of the baby. Ultimately the more time she spent locked up in Bhima dirt shack in the slums the more she realized that she could not have the baby and went to the doctor friend of Bhima’s son in law. After the abortion Maya was sullen and refused to speak to Bhima or Sera.

After we learn about the initial conflict in the story we are then taken through the lives of the main characters. We find out how Sera and her dead husband really got along. How Sera believes that Bhima has been her best friend throughout the years but refuses to acknowledge the woman’s importance to her completely because she does not want to give her servant that power over her.

Favorite Quotes from Novel:
“Although it is dawn, inside Bhima’s heart it is dusk.”

“Now I love the deep sound of the cello. Somehow it sounds most like life- sad and sweet and lost. Lonely. I always think that if the heart could sing, it would sound like a cello.”

“It is dark, but inside Bhima’s heart it is dawn.”

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. The book moves slowly and too much time is spent bouncing between the two main characters lives that often times it becomes unclear who is the subject of the chapter. It takes a long time to reach the main story’s plot (although you suspect who the true father of Maya’s baby is shortly after meeting his character and hearing about his marital problems he and his wife “had.”

Also many times the accents seem forced making certain characters less of a sympatric being and more of a joke.

This novel is not a complete waste of time however. Some of the metaphors used in the novel are actually quite poetic and fit the idea that the author was trying to portray.

This review is also on my Good Reads Shelf.

If you liked this review please use my Amazon links. You can purchase the Space Between here...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photohunters: Beauty

This photo was choosen for "Site of the Week" at Photo Hunters!

The Eye

As the old saying goes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This is a photograph that was submitted long ago for a JPG magazine theme “Beauty Redefined.” I choose this photo for two reasons, glasses often are not featured in photos that are tagged “beautiful” and two seeing yourself as beautiful. The looking into the mirror back at the camera was my way of saying that beauty is not only subjective but at times it can be reciprocal.

Anything can be beautiful to anyone. I cannot wait to see what others interpret as beautiful for photo hunters this week.

In the comments section of this post jmb asked how I took the photo of my own eye (above). It was actually pretty easy. I put the camera on a tripod in front of a large mirror. I put the compact on the floor and focused the camera. To make sure I was in the spot where the camera was focused I stuck a post it note on the floor under the compact so when I picked it up I would know where I needed to sit. I set the timer for 10 seconds to make sure that I had enough time to find the lens. I sat in front of the mirror and looked to the center of the lens (I used the big mirror to find the camera behind me). After the shot I adjusted the light and color tone in photoshop. Hope this answers your question jmb and thanks to you all for stopping by and commenting!
Have a Happy weekend!

Edited 9/3/08 to add... TNchick in the comments section of this post asked if I won at JPG with this photo... no but it was the photo that I ever receieved the most votes on and received the most views. That was pretty cool :)!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Photo Hunters: Wrinkled

white rhinos

These guys know how to spend a hot Florida summer day, under the shade of a lovely little palm tree. I picked this photo for the photohunters "wrinkled" theme because of their lovely wrinkled skin.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Photo Friday: Old Fashioned

Hopi and the Old Truck
When we lived in Colorado one of our neighbors had a collection of old cars and trucks. The green truck just behind the cute little dog was just on of his collection. This photo was submitted to Photo Friday for the theme "Old Fashioned" number 167.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rainy Day Coffee

It is a dreary day that is the end to a dreary week. Rain and yet more rain here in central Florida. It is the kind of rain that makes you want to sit at home with a good book and a good cup of coffee. On this rainy day I would like to introduce you to our latest hobby… meet our new espresso machine…
Espresso Machine (2)
side view of Espresso Machine

This little guy is fully automatic and makes fantastic espresso, cappuccinos, lattes and more. With the press of a button you can have one shot or multiple shots of espresso in literally seconds. Here is the first cappuccino that Norwood made…
Cappuccino top view
Not too much foam like a traditional cappuccino but as he got to know the wand better he has made cappuccinos better than what I have gotten out. This little machine saves us about $112 a week or about $2900 a year (minus the cost of coffee beans and milk so more around $2000 a year… yes we really do drink that much coffee!). Not to mention the time we used to spend just in line and waiting for our coffee at various coffee shops (of course we will still occasionally have an outing to a coffee shop but now the majority of our coffee come from Mr. Espresso himself). The machine is the best at home espresso machine that we have tried (and we have tried a few). In no way am I saying that this machine is as powerful as the ones they use in Starbucks and other favorite coffee shops, but it is the most powerful and easy to use at home machines we have tested.
Out of the box the unfamiliar barista needs to remember to prime the machine before the first cup of coffee (the instructions do not mention this and we thought it was broken until we ran it a couple of times and got it going).
It generally costs around $500 but you can find it as low as $350 at Costco (it was a sale price). It is well worth the money!
The pictures featured in this post have flickr notes on them. Please click the photos to read the notes.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Photohunters: Clouds

Painted Sky

This shot was taken in Colorado January 2007. I had never seen such dramatic colors in the sky since. The clouds looked like pulled cotton candy. It was just before sunset. If anyone is interested in the stats on this photo here is the link.

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