Roossy's Reviews > The Namesake

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
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's review
Jan 27, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2009

Namesake was the story of Bengali’s family who had to face cultural differences in their life. Gogol, the main character of the story, was born in Boston. He was named after the Russian author, Nikolai Gogol. Gogol’s father was a big fan of Russian’s literatures and survived because of Nikolai’s book from a train accident in India. When Gogol was born, his parents wanted to wait to name him as the naming letter from Gogol’s great grandmother was delayed. However, the letter was lost and he was stuck with Gogol. Eventually his parents gave him a good name, Nikhil. He was comfortable being a Gogol until he went to college and changed it legally to Nikhil.
The story continued to tell us about his life in the college, girls he met and broke his heart, his defiance against his parents to always go home for Christmas and Thanksgiving. The last part of the book was about his sadness from losing his father from heart attack and his happiness from his marriage life to a Bengali’s that became a failure after he found out that his wife was cheating on him.
I finished Namesake within 2 days, which was a record as I only read before bedtime.
I felt for these characters, especially the mother who was come to Boston without knowing anyone except the husband. How she had to adjust to American life for the sake of her children and eventually had to survive alone when her husband passed. As I doze off to sleep I kept thinking about the Namesake. The questions started to fill up my mind; Will Amanda feel foreign in our homeland the next time we go home? Will Amanda rejected to be with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas when she is in college?
Bringing up children in a foreign country will always be a challenge to all parents. Even though we, as parents can pass our cultures, eventually the local culture and moral will take over it.
My only hope for this moment is that Amanda will always looking forward to go home to Indonesia and Singapore and feel at home there.

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Suzanne I enjoyed your review and your perspective.

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