‘The Lowland’-Jhumpa Lahiri


About the book
Author Jhumpa Lahiri
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-8-184-00386-4
Price [INR] 499/-
Pages 340
Main Plot A story of siblings growing up together, becoming each others’ shadows. A small middle class family touched by destiny’s ups and downs in the lowland of Calcutta (now Kolkata). It is set up in mid 1900s; where Subhash & Udayan grow up as one to only grow apart from each other in their lives.
No. of Characters 4
Tone of writing Literary & Maturely refined.
My take on the book
Review >I’m speechless, quite literally, after finishing it. There are stream of thoughts running in my head, to put them down here, but I’m unable to coherently arrange them.>I liked the book, though I’ve to admit that initially, in fact for almost 50-60 pages I didn’t really get the hang of it. I thought of abandoning the book and pick another one. But something inside me insisted to continue, and continue I did.>The writing is descriptive and reaches you. Lahiri has the knack of taking you to the depth of the story with her words.

>A story of love, betrayal, family and choices that we make in life. How turn of events change so many lives at the same time and a family is destroyed by the hands of destiny. It has all the emotions of all so many relationships, mother-daughter, husband-wife, brothers, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, step father. Midst these relationships, the story has been weaved beautifully!

>It is hard to be a mother, when you are not prepared, when you are drawn to your past, when you are in so much love that death doesn’t mean anything to you, it is hard to be someone else’s wife, to be married to the shadow of your own husband of love. It is hard to imagine that life, to live even when your soul has left you long ago to be with you deceased husband.

>The complications of relationships, the actions that we take in order to iron out the creases of life and how those actions turn out to be lethal at times.

>This story ascertains the fact that you can’t make all situations turn around. Something does go from bad to worse in life and all we are left to do is to accept the fact.

>How love doesn’t know boundaries of life and death. Love is surreal; it happens and stays within the human heart, forever!

>Childhood is the most important part of our lives and we retain all the love and hatred, which is developed in this phase, for eternity!

>There is a touch of political episode, about Naxalbari, in those times that took place in the country. Mention of wars around the world, but it is no way a political novel.

>I’ve to admit that I might not have done a proper justice while writing this review, as I’m falling short of appropriate words to voice my thoughts. I might revisit this review and add to it or modify. But the crux is I liked the book.


‘Moving On’-Shashi Deshpande


Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 0-67-005781-9

Price: 450 INR

Moving On’ is a presentation of a personal diary of a dead man, read by his daughter and her own thoughts revolving around the pages she is going through and her own perspective about the past which consists of the her parents, husband and children.

The book talks about family ties, relationships, commitment and the generations. Sometimes you just don’t have proper words to describe what you feel about certain things. I’m in that state right now when I think about writing a review for this book. There is so much to express yet no proper stream of words to put it all in. Those who have read Shashi’s books would agree with me that he books leave you thinking about your own life and somewhere in the book you find yourself revolving in the story too. It’s so real and close to life-nothing larger than that and nothing superficial about it !

I found it a different way to present the story line. I have read Shashi Deshpande in the past as well and I’ve never been let down by her work. Shashi’s command over language, verbal ability to match the plot and easiness with which the story moves and dwells the characters that are designed to form the entire book is truly amazing.

My rating for this book is 4/5


‘The Binding Vine’-Shashi Deshpande

Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 0-14-023336-9

Price: 225 INR

It’s the story of 3 women.No actually it’s the story of women presented by these 3 characters in the book. Urmila [Grieving over the death of her baby daughter],Kalpana[young woman hanging between life and death,a victim of rape] and Meera[A poetess and Urmila’s long dead mother-in-law].

A confession that I want to make here-I just finished this book today afternoon.Since then I’m trying to sink in whatever has been written in the form of a story.I thought a lot and honestly,I could not come up with a proper review about the book in my own words.It’s kind of difficult for me. The book revolves around so quickly taking you through so many facets of life and how when unprepared and unarmed we as humans face it. So just a quick feedback about the book and not the story.

I have read Shashi Deshpande earlier also.This was her third book that I picked up [and to tell you I have 3 more in my library to read.]I have said earlier as well that her books are a bit shady and dark side.The plots are not about the best things in life and all that cream.It’s about reality.Somethings which we know but are distant in our mind and we care not to attend them since it’s not happening with us anyways.

I like the way she presents her characters.She writes about women as protagonist in her stories.And I appreciate the way she weaves the story in such a flow of words that you just can’t put it down.

While reading this one particularly,at some point I felt that I should not read it ahead since it’s too dark a set up for me.But something inside me kept on telling me that I should proceed reading the story and I did.And now once I’m done I’m glad I did.There is something about this book..the way it has been written which I liked very much.

Special Note: Those who really don’t like dark plots should not read it.

My rating for this book is 3/5