Book #: 5
Title: The Lowland
Week 5 read was a novel by Jumpa Lahiri shortlisted for Man Booker 2013 . ‘The Lowland’ had everything that could be included in a set up based out of Bengal. It includes naxalism, politics, uprising, poverty, aspiration and self reinvention.
‘The Lowland takes’ you through lifetime of two brothers and a woman who both of them marry. Jumpa Lahiri makes a conscious effort to not make this a story about the economic or political conditions of India or America but keeps focused only on the emotions that the three key characters experience through their lifetime.
For someone expecting to have a happy reading, this might be the ideal book to pick. One consistent theme the book skips through is joy. Not even, when Udayan and Gauri gets married, Not even when Subhash gets admission to a college in America, Not even when they have a daughter.
The narration switches back and forth in time. Every section starts from the point of view of a key character- two brothers, Gauri, Bela and the parents. Come the second chapter (subsection), the view zooms out, which doesn’t make for a great convincing reading.
Overall, there were very few moments in the book where you really feel excited about. If you haven’t read anything that deals with high emotions set up in Indian setup, you can give it a try. (Not rightly comparable but having read ‘Village by the sea’ by Anita Desai- I would have liked a bit more emotional consistency)