Reading Wednesday

Book Review The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Reading Wednesday

This book was written six years ago. My husband said he was sure I had read it, but I started it anyway after finding a paperback in a hotel in Yangon.

I had not read it, but I am sure glad I did. It’s a remarkable story and I enjoyed it very much.

The Lowland is a sad but fascinating story of an Indian family that takes the reader over four decades and three generations from The Lowland of Calcutta to Rhode Island.

Lahiri is a beautiful storyteller with a instinctive ability to portray both the intimate and far-reaching implications of decisions made, customs and beliefs held dear, and family ties.

Bengali brothers Sabhash and his brother Udayan are so close in age growing up they are nearly inseperable despite their very different personalities. Sabhash the eldest is more conventional with a scientific mind. He wants to be a scientist and heads to America for his college studies. Udayan, always the braver of the two, is distracted, dissatisfied and a rebel.

Udayan’s ideologies find him involved in the Indian Naxalite insurgency and he is executed in front of his parents and wife.

Subhash returns to India to find his parents beyond consoling. Subhash takes Udayan’s wife and the unborn daughter she carries and returns to the USA to raise the child as his own.

The scope of this story is fascinating as it explores family and tradition, parental expectation and truth, martyrdom and secrets and the immigrant experience in the United States. It’s also educational and eye-popping if you are unfamiliar with the brutality and suppression of peasants in India.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Four stars for The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. Read last week’s review of I Am, I Am, I Am.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Melissa

    Loved this book, as well. I’ve read several of her novels and think this was my favorite.

    January 23, 2020 at 5:57 pm
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