Monday, April 7, 2014

The Lowland Review: A tapestry of human relationships

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Book: The Lowland
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Publisher: Random House India
Genre: Drama
Rating: 4.5 on 5

Review: Jhumpa Lahiri continues to amaze. 'The Lowland' is far better than I had expected it to be, better than perhaps anything one can expect of anybody. A heavy volume of 350-odd pages, it brings back memories of classic novels which were chaste in language and sublime in their emotional upheaval.

Far from the political potboiler I had thought this book to be (my notion primarily based on the Naxalite-centred cover pic and the story blurb), 'The Lowland' is actually about human relationships strewn across the passage of time. It is about the blithe cheerfulness of two young boys Subhash and Udayan and how they grow up inseparably but to two men of completely contrasting views. It is about a brief but beautiful liaison between Udayan and Gauri, the woman whose liberal thoughts matched his revolutionary views. It is about Subhash and Gauri, the two most dissimilar people chained together by an unanticipated twist of fate. It is about Subhash and his foster-daughter Bela who grows up under the protective guardianship of her uncle, thinking him to be her father. It is about Gauri, the mother who abandons her daughter only to return later, and about Bela, the daughter who learns early in life not to need her mother anymore. The whole book is a poignant tapestry of human relationships, each sketched out in realistic details and each leaving an imprint on the heart.

The masterly way in which Lahiri shuffles between places and people without letting the reader avert his attention is remarkable. This is one of those books which apart from proving to be an unforgettable read also prove to be an invaluable study material for young aspiring writers like me.

[The review over, now let me string together a few dil-se words for These days, I get approached by a lot of newbie authors who send me a copy of their books for reviewing it. On most occasions, these books turn out to be disappointing and I have to really push myself to finish them off. With MySmartPrice, I can request my kind of book and exactly the book that I wish to read- it can be anything from an Agatha Christie classic to a Chetan Bhagat college romance to a critically acclaimed ‘Unaccustomed Earth’, another Jhumpa Lahiri work which I had reviewed a few months back for this portal. So when I voiced my yearning to read (and own) this Booker Prize nominee and a really expensive book at that, MySmartPrice was only too willing to courier it to me, provided I write an honest review. Without mincing words, I do admit that this portal has been a brilliant discovery for me.]

-Ritesh Agarwal

Twitter: RitzyChoclate

 PS- My meeting with Jhumpa Lahiri earlier this year has now gained a lot more personal significance for me.


  1. Nice review mate........................

  2. Have always liked her work, will look this one up.. and it must have been an experience meeting Jhumpa Lahiri in person :)

  3. Like to read the book,well written review

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