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Discussion Guide


By Thrity Umrigar

“Utterly engrossing . . . A powerful, important, unforgettable book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild

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.

This discussion guide was shared and sponsored in partnership with Algonquin Books.

Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.

Smita tells Mohan that her India is not his India. What does she mean?

How is Meena’s India different from Smita’s? What explains the differences?

Meena relates her story to us directly, in the first person. Why do you think the author chose this point of view?