Talented author Jennifer Haigh tackles the Catholic priest abuse scandal with grace and skill. She brings to bear her forte of familial relationships to a splintered family living south of Boston. Don’t be put off by a subject that you might have heard enough of, Haigh’s take is refreshing and powerful. After reading two of Jennifer’s novels, this one and the outstanding 2008 work, The Condition, it’s clear this is an author to be reckoned with. I look forward to going back and reading some of her earlier work, even as she moves forward to tackle ever more-complicated and powerful subjects.
Thrity Umrigar’s The World We Found is a powerful look at four Indian women who shared a galvanizing and complex friendship during college and are now facing mortality some thirty years later when one of their number is discovered to have cancer and given months to live. While the three who remain in India do what they can to reunite and travel to America to see their stricken friend, the depth and complications of their relationships are revealed. Thrity doesn’t just give us four wonderfully drawn women in this novel, she creates a couple of surprising male characters as well. And in what is perhaps most surprising, a story about bringing four friends back together after decades evolves into something so much more – a lost woman’s liberation. Bravo, Thrity! The World We Found is a fantastic book!