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Honor

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

THE JANUARY 2022 REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

“In the way A Thousand Splendid Suns told of Afghanistan’s women, Thrity Umrigar tells a story of India with the intimacy of one who knows the many facets of a land both modern and ancient, awash in contradictions.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

©2022 Thrity Umrigar (P)2022 Algonquin Books

What the critics say

Honor is an utterly engrossing novel about two very different women whose lives converge after an unspeakable act of violence in India. With insight and compassion, Thrity Umrigar writes masterfully about the complexities of hatred and love, estrangement and belonging, oppression and privilege, about holding on and letting go. A powerful, important, unforgettable book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild

Honor by Thrity Umrigar is about an Indian-American journalist named Smita who returns to India on assignment. The story she’s covering is an emotionally riddled one that utilizes the lives of characters to portray the cultural realities of India, both new and old. Her experiences lift the veil on the complexities of journalism and leave Smita questioning her boundaries as a reporter. Complex and unfiltered, these are the type of characters that stick with you long after you turn the pages . . . Powerful story about family, devotion, and cultural truths all through the eyes of an incredible journalist.”   —Reese Witherspoon, the January 2022 Reese’s Book Club Pick

Honor is a novel of profound depths—cultural, personal, romantic, spiritual. It’s also a story of tremendous grace, both in the understanding it shows its characters and in the ways they navigate a brutal but stunning life.” —Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Great Believers 

What listeners say about Honor

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This was a well written book!

I really loved this book .. it kept my attention the whole way through… it’s a beautiful, sad but powerful story! ❤️

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Just ok compared to other books by this author

It was very hard to get engaged in the characters, even though what they had endured was awful. There was not enough development of them to make you feel the compassion that you really wanted too

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Read this book!

Adding another glowing review. Beautifully written, fantastically performed. This one will stay with me.

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Honor 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟

It's hard to understand sometimes different cultures. Honor made me feel so many emotions. An exceptionally touching listen❣️

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Really? Do some digging then write please!

I kinda understand that as an immigrant there is always a challenge to like and dislike the country that you were born in and the country that you live in now. But just saying some stuff that doesn't make sense is not cool. India is the 3rd country in polluting the world while in the book they talk like they're the victim of the west. There are so many conversations that don't match facts, and facts are simply facts. I wish I could return this book as after listening to one sixth of it, I simply can't continue.

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10/10 audiobook perfection

The story was excellent. I could feel and smell India and the characters became real. The struggles of caste and religion were made understandable. The narration was truly incredible… seamless transitions between American and Indian accents. This is one book that I would listen to again and I highly recommend it.

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Honor

A book well written it is sad to know that, even in today’s society, this can happen

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Full of hope

What an inspirational story. It’s full of love and paradoxical emotions. It would be the same for many other people from other cultures. Performance was excellent.

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Identity, Beliefs and Honour

“… the most dangerous animal in this world is a man with wounded pride.” Meena

My review
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a story beautifully written by Thrity Umrigar and accurately narrated by Sneha Mathan. I could not put this down. I loved listening to this audiobook because I felt it was brought to life. I loved how Meena and Smita Agarwal’s stories were told in a way where they are easy to relate to. Meena tells you her story so beautifully and is so full of life when speaking about her love for her late husband Abdul. Meena is surrounded by high spirited individuals, such as her sister Radha and Abdul that insist she follow her heart, and not be be burdened by her brothers’/ village’s expectations. In contrast, her brothers whom she spent her whole life honouring, turn on her the second she announces her love for a Muslim man (Abdul).

These stories show much discrimination people face because of their religious beliefs and how “honour” can make people turn against their own flesh and blood. Most importantly, I loved how Smita discovers a love for India that was once lost. India is almost described in this book as a person with beauty, tradition and honour. At the same time much of its flaws are mentioned, which particularly refer to the disparities that people may face depending on your religion, nationality, class, economic status, gender and privilege.

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Best yet!

Wowza! Thank you Thrity, this was just such an amazing book, this story was so gripping, so emotional and incredibly well written and the narrator made it even better if that’s possible. Can’t wait for the next book!

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