The Lowland is an engrossing family saga steeped in history: the story of two very different brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn apart by revolution, and a love that endures long past death. Moving from the 1960s to the present, and from India to America and across generations, this dazzling novel is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.
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It is really difficult for me to write a review of this book, for one because I don’t think I have enough words in my vocabulary for it and secondly because I do not think I can do justice to it. So I will not follow my traditional way of reviewing this book and instead let my thoughts just flow.
Through ‘The Lowland’ Jhumpa Lahiri took it upon herself to narrate the stories of two brothers, a fiery woman and the revolution for equality that rocked the country sometime in the 1960s. The two brothers, Subhash and Udayan Mitra, choose two very different roads in life. While Subhash is portrayed as the dutiful son, who pursues scientific research away from the upheaval in his hometown, Udayan is the more charismatic one who gets attracted to the Naxalite movement. Then there is Gauri whose independent nature and liberal views attracts Udayan and in some ways there connection influences him to join in the movement. But Gauri then connects with Subhash and while the two are complete opposites, they somehow complement each other.
The book is not about the Naxalite movement or about the romance between the two brothers and a woman… But the book is essentially about the very core of human relationships. I have noticed this in Jhumpa Lahiri’s other works too, that she strips down the relationships to its bare minimum and explore them like no other. While the plot was a bit predictable after a while, Jhumpa Lahiri’s elegant language and extraordinary writing style can keep the reader turning its pages.
Overall, a very refreshing book that takes a reader on a roller coaster journey with its prominent characters and awesome narration
Review Copy received from Random House India