As you read this masterful novel, you think you are learning how family secrets haunt the present. Yet at the end of the novel we discover we too have been lied to, and the weight of the past is political as much as familial. An amazing subversion of the family saga.
The Lowland is a fabulous novel, and while there were characters, scenes, and moments that I thought could've been pared down some to allow the work to breathe, these were relatively minor. Overall, The Lowland is wonderfully paced and peopled, and the beauty of the journey is certainly worth the effort.
This book is one of those books that I could get defensive about. It's underrated and taken too literally. Give it a chance, don't compare it to The Namesake (please don't do this!), and focus on the relationships over the events.
It is so, so rich. The main theme for me is connection.
Book club, didn't care for it
I give this one two stars but only for the quality of the writing which is quiet, understated, eloquent. This is a book about loss. As a lonely foreign student, Subhash is abandoned by the older woman with whom he has established a relationship. Then without realizing it, he is victimized by the selfish actions of his brother who, having married a girl against his parents' wishes, gets himself killed and leaves his young pregnant widow as an outcast in his parents' home. That in turn destroys Subhash's relationship with his parents when he marries his brother's widow to take her away to America. His marriage is doomed from the start and after his wife's abrupt departure, even his relationship with his beloved adopted daughter drifts into nothing. The aging Subhash becomes increasingly lonely, abandoned and directionless.
The book moves slowly, with no discernible object, simply the sad, depressing story of a man who has failed, seemingly through no fault of his own.
I would have given this beautifully written book 4.5 stars, feeling it was marred only by a somewhat weak ending. Subhash and Udayan are two brothers: Udayan is the revolutionary son, Subhash is the dutiful son. When Udayan dies an early death, the ramifications span two continents and 4 generations. Although most of the characters are just everyday people living everyday lives, the author makes us want to care and know more about them.
A slow read that crackles with tension, right to the end.
A beautiful book of a family torn apart and brought together again. Engaging characters and an unique story make this book a real page-turner.
I am amazed by the style of the author. The way the story flows and keeps you connected as if you have witnessed this is beyond imagination. I could not stop reading the latter half uninterrupted as I was glued to my kindle for 4 hours..
Great Great novel! I am still thinking about it as this is so close to be a non-fiction.
Lahiri has demonstrated from past works that she is a capable writer, but she seems strangely detached from her characters in this novel. They never come to life, and this flaw leaves the entire story pervaded with apathy. We can only hope Lahiri will be more inspired with her next project.
In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.
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