Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Lowland

Just finished Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland, her second novel. I love love love her writing. She is in the upper echelon of outstanding short story writers, part of the enviable and elite group who know how to capture a story in the short form so perfectly, and seemingly without effort.

But as a novelist, I am sad to say I am less enthralled. The book is of course well written and I enjoyed it a great deal --it is impossible not to enjoy Lahiri's writing. But the story she tells over so many pages, the characters, their dilemmas, did not fully capture me. Or left me feeling a little unfulfilled somehow.

In the end, I don't really understand what motivated her to write this story, what it was she really wanted to say about these people, about their lives, their space in history, their movement across time and culture, their choices. By the end of the book I had rather tired of the characters and all their problems.

The message I took away from it? He died --get over it.

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