Book Review: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Ah there is absolutely no effort needed in reading The Lowland. There is no wilderness in the plot, yet the narrative that traces lives of two Bengali brothers is intimate. It voyages your interest through its time-lapse stamps of their lives – one whose native act driven by political aspirations gets him killer; other whose life is enshrouded in the shadow of his brother’s choices. In The Lowland the characters do not try to piece it all together, rather they set off never to look back. Leaving the country, its narrow crowded streets, its complicated rituals, its structure that often leads to demolition of freedom of choice.

Jhumpa Lahiri is a fantastic writer and her writing carries a heart of silence. The heart that veils a past well enough to not notice its existence. The past that does not accommodate the truth; the truth that hides in its plain sight. As you leaf through the pages of the book you understand the relations more beautifully. The desperation and the grit that forms human bonds. Wherein love and friendship is a luxury they cannot afford.

We live for ourselves and we create versions of ourselves that disassociates the past and unsaddles it out of our existence. Yet it longingly gets stitched into our lives. Truth is, it does not matter after sometime.

The book holds you close for the longest time. It whispers a sad tune in your ears. It tells you that life is not fair. And that human beings have a audacious drive when it comes to detaching the different narratives they stumble into. To move on further, to seek silence, leave the drama, to keep breathing…for life itself is a valid defense to all interpretations.

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