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If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar
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If Today Be Sweet (edition 2008)

by Thrity Umrigar

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2081156,261 (3.75)16
Member:Margeryw
Title:If Today Be Sweet
Authors:Thrity Umrigar
Info:Harper Perennial (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:novel

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If Today Be Sweet: A Novel (P.S.) by Thrity Umrigar

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Após perder seu marido, Tehmina Sethna está emocionalmente fragilizada. Por isso, ela decide aceitar o convite de seu filho, Sorab, para passar um tempo com ele em Ohio, nos Estados Unidos. Lá, Sorab, um homem de 38 anos que fugira da Índia para mudar de vida, se casou com Susan. Os dois tiveram um filho, Cavas, e viveram uma vida perfeita ao estilo americano. O que parecia ser um recomeço, porém, deixa Tehmina numa situação delicada. Sem conseguir se adaptar à cultura ocidental, Tehmina sofre com a rejeição de sua nora e se sente sozinha no mundo, mesmo quando Sorab a convida para morar com ele. Ela tem que escolher entre a nova vida e o retorno à cidade de Bombaim, que cada vez mais lhe desperta saudades. É aí que Tehmina, ao ajudar dois meninos que moram na casa ao lado e são maltratados e negligenciados pela mãe, rompe, sem querer, as barreiras entre as duas culturas. Alternando as visões de Tehmina e de Sorab, A doçura do mundo é um romance rico, que celebra a família e a vida em comunidade. Neste novo livro, Thrity Umrigar prova mais uma vez por que é considerada uma das escritoras mais sensíveis da atualidade.
  melissa.gamador | Sep 10, 2014 |
This book had so much potential, but, in my opinion, failed to deliver. I loved the premise of the book: Parsi widow in the middle of middle America faced with so many cultural differences. The parts of the book where Tehmina contrasts her life in India with the way of life in America are interesting and thoughtful. However, those places are surrounded by cliche and what I would call "formula" writing.

So much of the book simply did not ring true. Would anyone really call their son Cookie? And how old is this child; at one time he calls himself the Cookie Monster and at others is discussing Calvin and Hobbes. The "yummy yummy" vocabulary of the boys next door also does not ring true for kids growing up with abusive adults. And the reaction of everyone to the beating that they receive from their mother seems totally blown out of portion -- television interviews, newspaper pictures, dinner at the home of the son's boss -- just too over the top. And Sorab's new boss, Grace, is nothing more than a cartoon character.

In short, Tehmina seems like a Parsi Mary Poppins -- sprinkling everyone's life with a bit of sugar so that everyone will live happily ever after. I can't help but feel that life in two different worlds (as Tehmina is experiencing) is so much more complicated than that. It's a quick read, but not a satisfying one. "The Space Between Us" was a far superior book ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 17, 2013 |
Tehmina Sethna’s beloved husband, Rustom, has died leaving her to fend for herself. She finds herself in Ohio with her son, Sorab, and his family. Much as she loves them, she is torn by her loss and by the cultural divide between her home in Bombay and what she perceives to be an utterly materialistic and superficial outlook in the States.

This is a tender story of family, love, pain, and widowhood. Of Tammy coming to terms with her loss and having to carve out a new life for herself, in a new country. Ultimately, she must also decide whether she will stay in Ohio or go back to Bombay.

Umrigar displays keen insight into the human psyche. The title is what she imagines Rustom would say to her if he were alive and is based on a poem by Omar Khayyam, the premise being, If Today Be Sweet then why concern yourself with tomorrow? Enjoy What Is.

A fairly good read, though I did skip paragraphs here and there (not usually a good sign) as it was a teeny bit repetitive. I enjoyed The Space Between Us by Umrigar, before. ( )
  akeela | Aug 13, 2013 |
A well-written book. However, the handwringing that Tehmina does in comparing Bombay/Mumbai to the U.S., an activity she does throughout the book, is overwrought. Yes, it's insightful and most likely mirrors her character and other immigrants. But how many times does the reader have to experience it?! And it goes on, EACH time, for several pages. Eesh. I got the idea of her dilemma or indecisiveness the first three times. ( )
  ming.l | Mar 31, 2013 |
  asianamlitfans | Nov 25, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061240249, Paperback)

The recent death of her beloved husband, Rustom, has taken its toll on Tehmina Sethna. Now, while visiting her son, Sorab, in his suburban Ohio home, she is being asked to choose between continuing her old life in India and starting a new one in this unfamiliar country with her son, his American wife, and their child. Her destiny is uncertain, and soon the plight of two troubled young children next door will force the most difficult decision she has ever faced. Ultimately the journey is one that Tehmina must travel alone.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A middle-aged widow struggles to decide whether she will live in her native India or immigrate to America, where her son and his wife live in suburban Ohio and where the widow struggles with her cultural identity and need to bring happiness into the family.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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