The Lowland- Jhumpa Lahiri


I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book, but once I got into it I found it to be a completely well written book. The tragedy of the main character, Subash, makes you think of the old saying, good guys finish last. He had given up so much and done what is expected of a good son that your heart strings are pulled every time he is presented with yet one more tragedy. The contrast between the two sons, one who is completely selfish who is killed and one who is nothing but giving and yet more is taken from him. Subash takes and takes the the abuse dealt to him.

I really could not get into this but then Subash’s life takes a turn and I found myself rooting for him. This book ended, for me, better than it started. I feel it is very deserving of all the accolades it is receiving. I was a fan of The Namesake which prompted me to read The Lowland.


Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.

Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up.  But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.


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