Welcome to the readalong and book club discussion of The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar. Today we are discussing characters and their marriages, as presented in chapters 1 through 9 (pp. 1-91) of the novel. If you have insights to share, but they are based on events that occur later in the book, please note that as the beginning of your comment by typing SPOILER so those who haven’t read on will know to skip your comment.
In The World We Found , the reader is introduced to many different characters in the first one hundred pages – the original four friends, Armaiti, Kavita, Laleh, and Nishta, and three of their husbands, Richard, Adish, and Iqbal.
- What do you think of these characters? Does anyone especially appeal to you, or alternatively, turn you off?
- We see three very different marriages in Laleh and Adish, Nishta and Iqbal, and Armaiti and Richard. Why do you think Umrigar chose to represent such different dynamics in each of these couples?
- Why wasn’t Armaiti able to forgive Richard for his affair? Was it because he betrayed her or because he couldn’t explain it to her? Why is it important?
- Why is Laleh so hostile towards Adish’s work colleagues? Does she see something in them that bothers her in herself? Why?
- Nishta says, “It’s just that seeing both of you is reminding me of the gap between my life as it is and what I’d dreamed it would be” upon seeing Laleh and Kavita again. What does this say about Nishta’s life with Iqbal?
- Why does Adish feel so reluctant to meddle in Iqbal’s marriage, knowing the life that Nishta is living? Is it respect, pity, or something else entirely?
Please feel free to answer any or all of these questions in your comments, as well as expound on your thoughts about the characters and their marriages. If you’re new to this readalong and would like more information, please visit my landing page for The World We Found discussion. Please be sure to check back on Thursday, when we’ll be discussing friendships in the first nine chapters of the book.