Lowland, TheLahiri, Jhumpa
From a traditional Hindu family, brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra are heading in different directions; one is a revolutionary determined to end poverty and exploitation, and the other a scholar, far from India's shores. But a life cut short brings into play familial obligation and the dilemma of a pregnant widow.
Set in post-Independence India and America, this is an understated and sensitively crafted novel encompassing complex family dynamics, the price demanded by idealism and cultural expectations, and the lowland of Calcutta where it all begins. [Larger font]
Comments from Groups''The Lowland' is a well written and interesting book that gives fascinating insights into the Naxalite Movement, and also Indian culture - especially the experiences of expatriate Indians. Some members felt that there was too much detailed information, and that the main characters were not likeable - except for Subhash. Wellington 007 Beautiful and intelligent writing. Fascinating insights into family life in India. Interesting historical events woven into relationships within the family. Auckland 100 Most enjoyed the book. It engendered a good discussion about relationships and social dislocation. Thames 002 Many in our group enjoyed the book and read it quickly. Others found it a heavy read, and one did not finish because of this.The group generally talked of the juxtaposition of the two cultures. Also of the challenges that migrants such as Subhash faced, and likewise students who come to New Zealand... Kapiti 004 We mostly enjoyed this book. It was well written and led to a good discussion. Dunedin 061 We all seemed to enjoy this well-written story with its intricate plot and deeply serious characters. We discussed the Indian partition, cultural traditions, immigration and political idealism. Although it seemed mostly rather joyless, we were satisfied that the characters found some happiness in the end. Coromandel 002 Some enjoyed this, others did not and found the character development disappointing. Those who enjoyed it liked the overall breadth of the story. The first book by this author was considered the better of the two. Wellington 183 'The Lowland' is one of the better books we have read this year. All of the group contributed to the discussion, and there were varying opinions about parenting, secrets, immigrants and arranged marriages.... Taupo 006