So, after 10 months away, I’m back! I’ve actually read over 52 books this year already (I think I’m at ~60), but where did I go for all those months? Well, I lived on the road all over the southern US for a few months working a miserable job, therefore I went and got a new job, moved across the country for it and started working long hours at the new one. But this one I love so overall my life is much happier. Oh, and I fell in love in there too. That was just an added bonus. And if I write at least one review everyday till the end of the year I should finish. And be ready for the 7th CBR!
Let’s begin then! So these reviews are going to be willy nilly and not in the order I read them, but whatever, I shall review the ones I loved first! So I’ll start with The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read The Lowland at the start of the year, and unlike many I looooooved it. I’ve always meant to read The Namesake (I liked the movie with Kal Penn years ago) and when I got a copy at my library book sale this fall (I live across the street from the library now, this move was meant to be!) I just started it a random Friday night. By Sunday I was done.
The Namesake tells the story of the Ganguli family. Again we explore the themes of Indian immigrant families coming to the US and assimilating into society. Unlike The Lowland, which is the story of brothers and marriage, this is the story of fathers and sons (and marriage). And it was beautiful. The entire Ganguli family is well rounded and real. You feel the push and pull of Ashima and Ashoke trying to maintain their cultural identity while their children embrace American society head on. Especially Gogol, son and protagonist, as he can’t understand why his parents don’t just give up their ways and be like all the other parents growing up. It’s about familial expectations and trying to find where your own individuality fits within that. And to reiterate: it’s beautiful. Lahiri’s prose ebbs and flows, and she gently, quietly takes you on a journey. I highly recommend for anyone who’s read any of her other works and liked them, or even those who didn’t like The Lowland. The characters in The Lowland are hard people to connect with, but the Gangulis, I feel, are much more welcoming to those who wish to visit their little world. Definitely one of my favorites this year!