Book Review: Unaccustomed Earth By Jhumpa Lahiri

The book Cover: Unaccustomed Earth
The book Cover: Unaccustomed Earth

Have you ever tried a curry in an Indian restaurant aboard? They usually are too mild for Indians but too spicy for others. That is exactly how the characters of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth were. It is a short story collection, like her debut book, Interpreter of Maladies, based on 2nd generation Bengalis (natives of Bengal region of India) , living in the land of opportunity.

The book has  2 parts, where the part I is the random stories  and part II is the story of Kaushik and Hema. Hema and Kaushik met in childhood through their families, where Hema and her family played host to Kaushik and his family. Though they grow apart and in different worlds, they cross roads 2 decades later in Rome. They find the intimacy that was earlier missing in their lives, right before the important life phrase that was already framed by them.

In the part One, the first story shares its name with the book. The character has a  Jhumpa’s signature complications. However my favorite story is “Only Goodness” which is the story of a complex relationship between siblings where the younger brother gets in to drinking problem, that, a traditional Bengali family in the US tries to deal with.  The sister hides her guilt of introducing alcohol to the brother which at that age seemed harmless and fun.

Bonus Read: Book Review: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (click on the Image below to read the post)

The Lowland by Jhumpa Laahiri
The Lowland by Jhumpa Laahiri

In most of the stories, you think the gap between the characters has been mended, their conflicts has been resolved but right before the end, it goes otherwise. As a reader, you can’t protest it, because there are human elements which protects the action, an emotional propaganda which eliminates the rationality and sometimes impulsive decisions that subsides the logic.

I recommend Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth to readers of all age, culture and origins. I have rated it 4 out of 5 star in goodreads.

Happy Reading

Also on My Blog 

Book Review: Em and the big

Hoom by Jerry Pinto

Book Review: And The

Mountain Echoed

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Nish says:

    Short and sweet review. I liked these stories compared to her previous one, and I disliked The Namesake quite a bit. Looking forward to The Lowland though.


    1. Hi Nishita. Thank you for stopping by
      I agree that it is one of her best work. But I am not sure why did you dislike “Namesake”. Lowland is depressing in the corners which upsets few readers but I enjoyed reading it. Do let me know your views on Lowland when you finish it.



      1. Nish says:

        Even I don’t know why I disliked The Lowland. I think it dragged in places.


  2. Yes, I agree to some extend that some parts were stretched but I was so much into the complication of the story that i didn’t mind that


  3. Ishita says:

    I loved this book. Sigh. I recall some of the stories still. They left an impression on me


    1. Yeah, it is one of the books that stay with you for the long time. I have recommended this book to so many people and they have all loved it after 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ishita says:

        It is beautiful

        Liked by 1 person

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