Review: Honor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

WARNING: Here there be spoilers

Honor was a total shocker to me. I went to the local library on my lunch break to snoop around and left with this copy of Thrity Umrigar’s book. Then I read 40 pages at a restaurant while I devoured my meal, finished my work day, and drove straight home to finish the rest of the book.

Boy, did this story consume me. I have to admit that there were certain pieces that I saw coming (like Mohan and Smita’s relationship and them taking on responsibility for Abru), and some things I predicted that did not come to pass (like me thinking that Smita was married or in a committed relationship). But, either way, this story kept me guessing. And it was so beautiful. Honestly, the writing was extraordinary, the perspective fresh, and the topic timely. I didn’t expect to devote my entire day to Honor, but, after a string of relatively disappointing DNFs and a plethora of personal issues, it was just the retreat into the harsh experience of someone else’s reality that I needed.

I love the choice of mangoes as the cover art. For two reasons: One, that Meena’s sister referred to Meena’s breasts (representing her femininity) as mangoes, and the other that Abdul offered Meena mangoes as an initial gift in their courtship. But also because these fruits are sweet but deceptive, and it can be difficult to access the juiciness inside without doing damage to the more solid exterior. That’s my two cents, anyway.

Honor was an exceptional read. I’m so glad that it caught my eye on the new arrivals shelf at my library. I think it’s really going to pull me out of the reading slump I’ve been in thanks to the aforementioned personal issues.

Date read: March 3, 2022

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