Publisher: Knopf Canada
Released: September 2013
Subhash and his brother Udayan were always inseparable, born 15 months apart and often mistaken for one another. While they were very similar, Udayan was always the more outspoken and fearless one. Subhash wasn’t as impulsive, and tended to do what was expected of him and not cause his parents worry. When Udayan finds himself drawn into the Naxalite rebellion, Subhash supports his brother but doesn’t get as involved. Subhash hoped Udayan would outgrow his rebellious ways; he remained focused on school and left home to attend school in the US. As Udayan’s political passion escalates, he defies his parents by marrying a woman for love and not by his parents choosing. Shortly afterward, Udayan is arrested and killed, his family is shattered and Subhash tries to piece together the fragments of his family.
The Lowland is a riveting read that fans of Lahiri have come to expect. Her newest novel is no exception, spanning multiple generations, readers dive into a close family who is torn apart by political unrest. The death of Udayan has a long lasting residual effect on his loved ones. Secrets were hidden, that threaten to be exposed causing further damage. Subhash tries his best to protect Udayan’s wife, but his own life is forever turned around and his relationship with his parent’s is strained. Subhash is no longer the “good” child, he is the child that survived. Guilt seeps into Subhash’s life which denies him a life of possibilities. His brother’s choices and his own choices during this time, leave him living a very different life.
It’s really hard to review The Lowland, because Lahiri is such an exceptional writer and I don’t feel like my review is doing her any justice. Her characters are real, raw and exposed to readers. Lahiri’s setting in both Calcutta and Rhode Island really brings the novel to life. Since this novel covers Subhash’s lifetime, I don’t want to give away too many details. Subhash was the one who tried to smooth over and do what he thought was best. He was the one who tries to help everyone, but he was the one who suffered the most. I highly recommend this one; the story, the writing, the characters, the atmosphere makes this book irresistible and hard to put down.
Releases: September 2013