• The Secrets Between Us

  • A Novel
  • By: Thrity Umrigar
  • Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,593 ratings)

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The Secrets Between Us

By: Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
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Publisher's Summary

Bhima, the unforgettable main character of Thrity Umrigar’s beloved national best seller, The Space Between Us, returns in this triumphant sequel - a poignant and compelling novel in which the former servant struggles against the circumstances of class and misfortune to forge a new path for herself and her granddaughter in modern India.

Poor and illiterate, Bhima had faithfully worked for the Dubash family, an upper-middle-class Parsi household, for more than 20 years. Yet after courageously speaking the truth about a heinous crime perpetrated against her own family, the devoted servant was cruelly fired. The sting of that dismissal was made more painful coming from Sera Dubash, the temperamental employer who had long been Bhima’s only confidante. A woman who has endured despair and loss with stoicism, Bhima must now find some other way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya.

Bhima’s fortunes take an unexpected turn when her path intersects with Parvati, a bitter, taciturn older woman. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership, selling fruits and vegetables at the local market. As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer, each confessing the truth about their lives and the wounds that haunt them. Discovering her first true friend, Bhima pieces together a new life, and together, the two women learn to stand on their own.

A dazzling story of gender, strength, friendship, and second chances, The Secrets Between Us is a powerful and perceptive novel that brilliantly evokes the complexities of life in modern India and the harsh realities faced by women born without privilege as they struggle to survive.

©2018 Thrity Umrigar (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Secrets Between Us

Average Customer Ratings
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A heart-wrenching story/sequel

First, the narrator is excellent. Umrigar’s previous book, The Space Between Us, has been a favorite book the I have given to friends and read twice. Having lived in India for 18 months. I still was unaware that these types of relationships existed.

This book is a beautiful sequel. Same beloved, impoverished characters and same truthfulness are there. You don’t have to be familiar with the first book to love this one, but this new book will enrich your knowledge of life in India even more if you read “Space Between” first.

The pictures in my mind of the places and faces are etched deeply. Have you ever read a book that you describe to friends as fiction but yet not fictional? Here is one of those books.

58 people found this helpful

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  • 08-29-18

Most amazing story and narration ever!

The writing and performance are unsurpassed!!!

I was very sad when the book was coming to an end as I knew I would not feel like reading a book by any other author or listening to a performance by any other narrator.

24 people found this helpful

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loved!

This story was incredibly descriptive... i could see the characters, feel the struggle and emotion, and marvel at their accomplishments and cried at their revelation of secrets. Absolutely beautiful AND rejoicing, BRAVO!!!

19 people found this helpful

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Didn't like it at first

I found the book difficult to get into and almost stopped reading in the middle. The lives of the characters were really gritty. Then I listened to the ending. Wow! I started the book again and am now savoring every word. Masterfully written!

16 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Novel from Storyteller Extraordinaire

Loved the narration of the audio version. Another wonderful book from this engaging author. Ms. Umrigar writes beautifully, capturing the intricacies and complications of human emotions and relationships, of the divides and blindnesses of social strata and castes, giving dignity to those who have to live with less. We return to the life of the servant, Bhima, from "The Space Between Us" in modern day India and follow her journey along with her granddaughter's and those that enter their lives. Theirs is a hard life shaped by events of decades before. As their lives intertwine, their strengths and life's stories are shared, they see differently and accept what they might not have ever thought acceptable, their hearts reopen and they make their lives better for themselves and those around them. Tears for me at the end with a beautiful closing sentence.

16 people found this helpful

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Amazing Friendship

Bit of a slow start and confusing characters, but once the key character made a new decisiona nd changed her lifes path, things started flowing.
beautiful characters in a very unusual friendship in Mumbai slums..I could feel the pain of the women, and the triumphs as they overcame abuse, illiteracy and loneliness

15 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

this is as great as the first, if not better! the characters are so real and amazing. the narrator draws you in.

13 people found this helpful

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Love this !

Beautifully written and told. I loved the many “stories”,lessons, friendships...one of the best books I’ve listened to. Wonderfully read!

11 people found this helpful

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hope

The story of these women's lives kept breaking my heart but as the story progressed , the continued perseverance, beauty and strength of their spirit and the power of hope as written by this author was a believable and moving experience.

9 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and touching

This is a beautifully written tale of the complexity of life, presented with gentle sensitivity.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Valerie Gately
  • 07-18-21

Incredible

This is one of the best books I have ever read, or should I say, listened to! The narration was excellent, it made everything so real. I was in Mumbai! I felt the heat, the suffering, the hard work. I laughed , occasionally, and I cried.
I’m longing to read all books by this author,
Amazing writing. Thank you.

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  • Rosie @ 36
  • 12-08-19

So beautiful I didn’t want it to end.

This was another delightful book by Thrity Umrigar and the narrator was perfect too, which added to the enjoyment. Bhima continues her journey in this sequel to The Space Between Us, which I highly recommend you read first. This is not just a book of words, the author paints the story so clearly you are there, in that hovel, struggling to bring bread to the table , seeing the pain and feeling her pride.
I have also read Everybody’s Son, which was wonderful.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christineb
  • 08-28-18

My favourite audio..ever

This was a gem of a book Loved the first book but it was years ago it didnt matter Wonderful It will remain a firm favourite of mine I would recommend it to anybody browsing the title Fabulous story It has everything I cried I laughed Loved it.

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  • chan
  • 11-08-22

Incredible moving story

Amazing voice acting and beautiful tale of struggle, family and friendship. Thoroughly recommend this captivating book.

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  • ANN HURLEY
  • 10-20-22

A beautifully written and narrated novel.

Thoroughly enjoyed this story and insight it gave into Indian life, I highly recommended it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-25-22

Tragically sad and lovingly, beautifully told.

The misery of the lives of poor people existing rather than living from day to day in Mumbai is beautifully read. I loved this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-03-22

10/10

Sometimes an excellent story is elevated by the narrator. This is one of those

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-15-22

Joining my list of all time. favourite books.

My second listening to this wonderful author and narrator. The nuggets of wisdom, the deep reflective approach, the highlighting of the differing lives lived in the Indian cultures can be readily applied to life in general in any culture.
Beautifully, tenderly yet honestly written and read as if to me alone I feel almost regretful it has come to an end.
Thank you author and narrator for the hours we spent together.

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  • meenu cherian
  • 11-04-21

Lovely narration and story

Couldn't stop listening as narrated very well and a very emotional story of two women

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  • L. Hammon
  • 02-25-21

wow

Never have i ever gotten so invested in a character.. the trials of Bhima's life and how she has to overcome the belief systems that change through the generations.. the changes that one person can make on anothers life.. as I was listening to the story I could imagine the surroundings as if I was really there.. Thrity Umrigar writes with such love for her characters.. her past. loved it !

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-22

A tapestry of the subleties of human connection.

Having spent much time in India over decades ,& having the privilege of many close connections with people & families of different social & religious beliefs & all that such relationships entail, I was easily transported into every moment.

Not just a 'story' for me but a remembered 'feeling experience' of the nuanced complexities of even the seemingly simplest of lives.
The expression of Thritys' effortless weaving of the humans who characterised this tapestry of love in all its forms, from careful , mindful , protective suspicion where cultural edicts bind its elder characters to their strong but restrictive beliefs , across to the quietly respectful bridge on which the younger 3 women have learned to walk in this new India...is something I have observed & been privy to in my own time so graciously shared within the day to day lives of Indian families who welcomed me into their lives.
Very poignant unfolding of Kismet, fate & destiny.
Serendipitous meetings of seemingly unlikely individuals who come to deeply feel & understand that they , may all have more in common & much to contribute to one anothers humanity & wellbeing than their own cultural prejudices at first, allow.

This is for me a reminder of how short & precious our lives are & how too often & too easily , we can shut out our love & compassion over a real or imagined 'slight' only to carry this burden through to the ends of out lives & living uncomfortably with this regret.
The message here for me , is that love & affection portrays itself in many varied ways & that I am reminded to give generously of my own caring feelings as consciously as I can & receive with awareness & appreciation whatever comes back to me in return.
Thank you Thrity for your depth of empathy & to our reader Sneeha for her expression of the words that are the tapestry of this story of lives we can feel as if they were our own lived experience.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-21

Beautiful

This story was amazing. Well written and well performed. The characters were colourful and full of depth and I learnt so much about Indian culture along the way.

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  • Elise Mac
  • 07-01-21

Couldn’t finish this book

Would have been a more believable and gutsy story except for some thinly developed characters that added nothing more than an attempt by the author to address current popular social issues. The story became tedious for me. Sorry.