Saturday, January 17, 2009

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

This is Lahiri's third book with a collection of eight stories about the lives of Bengali immigrants and their American born children.
Ruma's obligation and concerns for her recently widowed father prompted him to stay with her for a visit, but he was hiding a secret which she eventually discovered. She was unraveled by her father's behavior. This, in turn, made her reevaluate her own life.
Another story was about Suda dealing with her alcoholic brother Rahul, which evoked guilt and disappointment in both brother and sister.
The last trilogy of stories depicted the lives of Hema and Kaushik who had met briefly in their childhood. Years later their paths crossed again, and how fate brought them together and apart.
The stories in this novel are all linked by themes of love, loss, human struggle, cultural identity and conflicts, and the power of Mother Nature. I was looking forward to reading this book since I really enjoyed Lahiri's first one, The Interpreter of Maladies.

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