Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters's Reviews > The Lowland

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
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really liked it

"Interpreter of Maladies" (Pulitzer winner), "Unaccustomed Earth", and novel
"The Namesake" we're each so terrific, ... it would be hard for me to choose which of the three I liked better: yet if I 'had' to choose it would be "Unaccustomed Earth" as first favorite.
Each of the books were about relationships - multiple challenges-
and struggles as immigrant families adjust to American Cultural and social norms. Always insightful.... and ALWAYS filled with emotional attachment.
And.. In her two books which are short stories, Lahiri's writing style of weaving stories
together is so realistic - we feel the heartbeat and are deeply emotionally engaged
hanging on to every word she writes. She's a master storyteller.

Yet, in "Lowland", ...although still beautiful writing, I didn't feel the same ..."hanging on-by-a-tread" emotion with this novel. The characters felt somewhat distant - right from the start. I warmed up to the brothers in time....but it took time. I was feeling
more intimacy with the environment --- the descriptions of Calcutta... and later
Rhode Island, than I was with the characters.

At times this story ( about two brothers ...with a woman that touches both of their lives)...reminded me of Abraham Verghese's novel, "Cutting For Stone".
In both novels one brother comes to the United States to study and further themselves ...
In both novels there are great differences between the brothers ..,yet, in this story...I just didn't feel the overall magic - like I did in "Cutting For Stone", or Lahiri's previous books.

I 'do' love this author ... but if you've never read Lahiri before...my vote would be for her previous books first! I absolutely 'love'. all of her other books!!! This was good.. but not 'as' good ....(for me).

3.5 stars
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 25, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
July 25, 2013 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Tia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tia Nash I definitely agree! Lowland is good, but not as good as her other works. But she set the bar quite high with those! Lahiri is one of my favorite authors.


message 2: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Very sincere review, Elyse :)


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters Tia, Deanna, and Sabah, Thanks for your comments.

I 'do' HIGHLY recommend reading her new memoir.
Its a book that has the potential to trigger personal inner truths within yourself -IMO..
'Potential'. Not everyone who reads it.. will see it that way.

But I do think MOST people are going to find what she 'did' very interesting.., and the writing is beautiful ...
THAT book is called
"In Other Words"

.. To be released soon


message 4: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Close Thanks, Elyse. Interpreter of Maladies is high on my to-read list. Looking forward to it.


Debarghya Paul Lovely Review. She's one of my favorite authors, though 'Lowland' is not really her best work ever. Coming from the part of the world she describes aptly in the first part of the book; I totally agree with your point that the intimacy was more with the environment. Beautiful line and again a lovable review.


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters Oh Charlie... I LOVED that book! It's a keeper it's a book I won't give away! Both are short stories!
Happy holidays to you


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters Debra: Oh... You touch my heart so much ... And you live in India. The last time I was there was in the 70s. You're so cute probably were not even born yet...lol. Yes I still have such great memories ... A few not do good too...


I will be curious of what you think about her memoir ...which she wrote in Italian.

I already wrote my review but I still have so many mixed emotions ...The book is In Other Words.

I admire what she did --
I think I also might miss her short stories about India...
But we sure must applaud people for making big bold moves of vibrancy in life... Moves that have us really grow!

Question I sit with now...is what's my next big life move?


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters Debar Sooo sorry!!!
My cell phone has a life of its own when it comes to spelling .., forgivegive me


Debarghya Paul Haha..It's ok about the spelling, you could just use my surname..lol
I am really looking forward to read her memoir once it releases here.Really curious after reading your review


Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters haha... Ok, if I call you *Paul*... that's so easy for me to remember ... a favorite name in this house! lol. ... given I've been married 37 years to my husband name Paul.
So, Paul it is! ;)...
and please come back and tell me your thought about her memoir.
I 'still' have mixed emotions about the - not Jhumpa - but how 'I' feel about that type of transformation in my own life : that drastic.

Funny though..,I have already taken action since that book. So, I guess it's a good thing!
Happy Holiday's DebarPaul. :)


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