The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hid the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. This extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture.
Well, we're quickly coming to the end of this breathtaking story and I will be sad to see it come to a close. Here are some bullet points from my reading of Chapters 16-20.
- workers are a dime a dozen, and illiterate is the way the boss man likes them.
- women and girls have little value. Only boys need to be educated.
- Bhima faces humiliation daily by her lack of education.
- Bhima's world changes quickly after her husband is hurt on the job. He quickly spirals into alcoholism and takes his anger out on Bhima.
- Living in a Bhaleshwar slum is better than living in the streets.
- Bhima's shame for not being able to read is what drives her fierce desire that Maya continue with college. This is her only goal!