I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
Trapped in a loveless marriage and crushed by loneliness, Lakshmi decides to take her own life. After she fails, she is forced to attend therapy sessions with Maggie. Maggie is everything that Lakshmi is not. As a strong African-American woman who is a successful therapist in a happy marriage, Maggie doesn't seem to have much in common with Lakshmi. Yet, something draws her to the young Indian woman. Lakshmi's domineering husband has limited her world to their home and grocery store/restaurant. With no friends and no connection to family, Lakshmi's crushing loneliness leads her to her desperate act. Maggie helps Lakshmi to realize her worth and how to become more independent. In spite of herself, Maggie is drawn to Lakshmi and begins to cross her carefully constructed professional lines. The two women begin to confide in one another and share secrets without realizing that each one has very different expectations about the relationship.
Although it took a little while to get going, I really enjoyed this story. I thought both women were really interesting and that the characters were well-developed. It was especially satisfying to see Lakshmi come into her own throughout the course of the book. However, it was equally upsetting to see the poor choices that Maggie made. While one woman began to thrive, the other began to all apart. Much of the book had to do with friendship and the importance of connections between people but I think the most important part of the book was the theme of forgiveness. Although the actions of the characters could often be frustrating, I think the book was ultimately a lovely tale of forgiving and moving on.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A really nice story featuring on the connection between two unlikely friends and the far-reaching consequences of that relationship.