The Story Hour

By Thrity Umrigar

The Story Hour book cover
Added December 15, 2016

When Maggie is first assigned to see Lakshmi at the end of a Friday workday, she tries to beg out of it. She’s distracted by her dinner plans with a man to whom she is strongly attracted, despite her happy marriage. And Maggie has a suspicion that she has been given this new patient only because as an African American, she too is a “woman of color,” who also happens to be married to an Indian man. While Maggie is quick to dismiss these superficial commonalities, she finds that she does share one genuine connection with Lakshmi: Both women are still mourning the loss of their mothers. Determined to help make a difference in this young woman’s life, and in the first of what will turn out to be many breaches of professional protocol, Maggie offers to treat her at her home office once a week free of charge. Meanwhile, Maggie is facing a crisis of her own. Her attraction to another man has developed into a full-blown affair. She knows she is being foolish and reckless – she loves her husband. But some broken part deep within herself keeps her going back for more. All the while, the weekly sessions with Lakshmi appear to be helping: For the first time since coming to America, Lakshmi is finding some independence, learning to drive and beginning to earn her own money as a caterer and housekeeper. But the improvements come at a cost: for Maggie and Lakshmi, the lines between the personal and professional have irrevocably blurred. When they learn of each other’s shocking, deepest secret, their friendship is pushed to its limit, threatening to destroy the one thing each woman has come to cherish the most. Visit Thrity Umrigar’s official website. Book description courtesy HarperCollins; used with permission. Toolkit coming soon.

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