The Lowland By: Jhumpa Lahiri
(Knopf, 2013, 340 pages)
Subhash and Udayan are brothers born 13 months apart. Raised in a time when India was going through numerous changes the brothers took very different paths in life. Subhash made the decision to travel to the United States and continue his studies there while Udayan stayed home and devoted himself to a political party determined to see change take place.
While Subhash was abroad his younger brother made the decision to marry for love rather than wait for his parents to arrange a marriage for him. His wife, Gauri, suits him. She’s an intellectual and she’s independent – the two complement one another. However, when Udayan is killed Gauri’s place in the family becomes somewhat tenuous. When Subhash returns home to mourn for his brother he takes it upon himself to look out for Gauri. He makes the decision to bring her to America and from here we see how the death of one brother has a profound impact on the lives of so many others.
Lahiri is a talented writer and I enjoyed this novel a lot more than I thought I would. If you’re a fan of Lahiri’s other work I’d recommend you pick this up.