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The Museum of Failures Bets On...

The Museum of Failures

October 2023

In Thrity Umrigar’s THE MUSEUM OF FAILURES, Remy Wadia is headed back to India for the first time since his father died. He and his mother have a very fractured relationship. She is tough and cold towards him, and he has no idea what he did to warrant this treatment. He has returned with a mission in mind: to adopt a baby. He is married and living in Ohio with his American wife, Kathy. Life there is full and brilliant, and he has a loving relationship with her family. But they both long for a child, and the opportunity to adopt an Indian baby has been shared with Remy's good friends in India. They know a woman who is pregnant and in the wrong relationship to keep her child. 

As Remy arrives, he goes to look in on his mother, who he learns is in the hospital and is not speaking. He now realizes that he needs to stay longer than he had intended to see her settled. Then the story flips, and we learn a lot more about Remy’s life and why the friction is there. He begins to understand so many things that were never as they seemed. The book unfolds beautifully and ends joyfully. And that phrase "the museum of failures" will come up again and again, bringing more meaning each time it is read. 

I also made Thrity’s novel, HONOR, a Bets On selection two years ago. THE SPACE BETWEEN US is one of my favorite books; it would have been a Bets On title if I was doing these picks at that time. I recently picked up THE SECRETS BETWEEN US, which she wrote as a follow-up, but it was published quietly and I missed it.

Thrity is a beautiful writer who pens a wonderful story. It would make for a great book club discussion, and she does like talking to book groups.

» Watch my "Bookreporter Talks To" interview with Thrity Umrigar or listen to the podcast where we talk about THE MUSEUM OF FAILURES.

The Museum of Failures
by Thrity Umrigar

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • ISBN-10: 164375355X
  • ISBN-13: 9781643753553