Dorothy's Reviews > Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
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's review
Dec 28, 2008

really liked it
Recommended to Dorothy by: I picked it up after seeing a video of her book, The Namsake.
Recommended for: Anyone who has an interest in the human condition man, woman
Read in December, 2008 , read count: 1

Lahiri has the art of telling tales about life in a very honest, forthright way. Each of her eight stories takes the reader on an imaginary voyage into the world of her characters and their unique situations. It is a trip worth taking no matter the cost.
The title story, Unaccustomed Earth, truly captures the plight and the promise of Ruma's elderly and widowed father who finds joy in his newly developed relationship with his grandson, Akash. Even so, Ruma is ambivalent about asking her father to come and live with them. Lahiri closes the tale in such a poignant way that I could not keep myself from cheering, "Go Grandpa!"
Hell- Heaven is the second in the series. It is a story which aptly displays how our culture defines us. No matter how hard we try, it truly is the cord that brings us "home." Lahiri cleverly brings this idea about by providing her reader with a peek into the drama of married life. We see the cracks begin to form when responsibility, which is often interpreted as neglect, causes a person like Aparna to seek favor with Pranab a young engineering student who attended MIT. As to be expected, it leads to disapointment and despair. Isn't that the way life can be?
The fourth story and the last of which I shall comment is, Only Goodness. Here Lahiri introduces her readers to Sudha and her younger brother, Rahul. It is she who causes cracks in his innocnece by offering him his first taste of alcohol. Little does she realize at the time that her actions will come back to haunt her and destroy him.
Needless, to say, I have become a fan of Jhumpa. Where was she when I was living through the sturm and drang of adolescence? Oops! She hadn't even been born. Well, it's better late than never.
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message 1: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Ceravolo Lovely and insightful review, Dorothy. I will definitely add "Unaccustomed Earth" (great title, by the way), to my list of books to read.


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