Description

The bestselling author of The Space Between Us and Reese's Book Club pick Honor delivers a powerful story about family secrets, a mother's power, and the importance of forgiveness.

Remy Wadia left India for the United States long ago, carrying his resentment of his mother with him. He has now returned to Bombay to adopt a baby from a young pregnant girl—and to see his elderly mother for the first time in several years. Discovering that his mother is in the hospital, has stopped talking, and seems to have given up on life, he is struck with guilt for not realizing just how sick she has become.

His unexpected appearance and assiduous attention revives her and enables her to return to her home. But when Remy stumbles on an old photograph, shocking long-held family secrets surface. As the secrets unravel and Remy’s mother begins communicating again, he finds himself reevaluating his entire childhood, his relationship to his parents, and his harsh judgment of the decisions and events long hidden from him, just as he is on the cusp of becoming a parent himself. But most of all, he must learn to forgive others for their failures and human frailties.

Readers of Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo, Fault Lines by Emily Itami, and Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti will devour this story of secrets and family, a reminder that forgiveness comes from realizing that the people we love are usually trying to do their best in the most difficult situations.

What's Inside

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Praise

“There's no powder keg like a family secret. And when it explodes, nothing in the past is ever as it was, and nothing in the future is ever the same. The Museum of Failures is a symphony of secrets and lies, love and hate, regret and forgiveness, but more than that, the unraveling of everything one holds dear to find something more precious and elusive: oneself. Powerful and engrossing.”

  —Marlon James Booker Prize winning Author of Moon Witch, Spider King
"Family secrets are constellations made of falling stars. When scattered across the vast expanse of our lives, they lead us, guide us, but often in the wrong direction. With Thrity Umrigar’s signature blend of emotional depth and compassionate storytelling, The Museum of Failures is a poignant and profound exploration of what happens when someone’s entire life, their entire journey, has been spent off-course. I feel this book. You will too." —--Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Ms. We Are Bookish 
"Wrenching and uplifting, lighthearted and profound, The Museum of Failures is a suspenseful, beautifully plotted tribute to the complicated yet steadfast love between parents and children."

  —Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning
"The Museum of Failures is a compassionate and insightful exploration of judgment, forgiveness, and understanding. A skilled chronicler of family secrets, Thrity Umrigar reveals the reverberation that decisions can have over generations and the impact of distance, both geographical and psychological, on the relationship of one mother and son."
 

  —Lisa Ko, author of National Book Award finalist The Leavers
“[Umrigar] creates interesting characters and complex relationships, builds thematic tension and narrative suspense, and delivers emotionally resonant moments at just the right pace… [A] rich, heartfelt novel. This is a touching story about what it really means to grow up and into an authentic life.” —Kirkus Reviews
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