Tag Archives: Migration

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri

Overview
Image result for unaccustomed earth book cover

Title: Hell-Heaven
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
In: Unaccustomed Earth (Jhumpa Lahiri)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Family, MigrationRace
Dates read: 16th September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: My parents and I had lived in Central Square for three years prior to that day; before that, we lived in Berlin, where I was born and where my father had finished his training in microbiology before accepting a position as a researcher at Mass General, and before Berlin my mother and father had lived in India, where they were strangers to each other, and where their marriage had been arranged.

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Synopsis

She’s stuck between two worlds – the past of her parents and the present of America. A fun uncle and his new wife might completely change everything. And help her to find a way to accept her place in the world…

Thoughts

Arranged marriages are something that I don’t understand and have never had first hand knowledge of. Which means that any story which features this are going to be completely fascinating. After all, I read because I want to understand the world and things around me better… so this story was completely fascinating. Impossible to put down and made me feel like I could understand the world around me a little better…

I don’t think it matters what culture and society you come from, family is still an incredibly important driving force. As a woman, the relationship between mother and daughter is an especially poignant relationship that forms everything I’ve become. This was beautifully reflected in this short story – the entire tale revolved around a mother and daughter. The uncle figures presence provides a vessel through which this occurs, but the central tale is still about the mother and the daughter.

Short stories which come full circle are always kind of enjoyable. There is something that is succinct and neatly tied up because of it. This is the perfect example of such a tale – it starts with a strange man coming into their lives and becoming part of the family, and ends with the woman he bought into their lives thanking them for being a family. It’s not entirely neat, but it is quite sweet and makes you realise that your actions from years ago can still come back. That sometimes what we thought we wanted isn’t actually what we needed, and our acceptance of others will always turn out for the best.

 <- Unaccustomed Earth ReviewA Choice of Accommodations Review ->
Image source: Bloomsbury

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Overview
Image result for unaccustomed earth book cover

Title: Unaccustomed Earth
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
In: Unaccustomed Earth (Jhumpa Lahiri)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Migration, Race
Dates read: 20th – 21st July 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He had found his wife’s interest surprising; throughout most of their marriage it had been an unquestioned fact that visiting family in Calcutta was the only thing worth boarding a plane for.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Ruma lost her mother a year ago. Now her father is coming to visit. Is it time for the patterns of the past to be healed and a new reality to set in?

Thoughts

This is my first Lahiri story, and it’s making me wonder where her writing has been all my life. Her style of writing is incredibly accessible and open. And, although she’s dealing with a culture and people that I’ve had next to no experience with, the themes and issues are still prevalent in my life. Issues of growing and changing, seeing parents as their own grown entities.

There are many stories which talk about coming of age and reaching adulthood. There aren’t so many stories of almost the second coming of age. That point in our lives when we start to change our opinions of our parents because they are beginning to seem smaller and more elderly in our lives and start our own families with children of our own. This short story perfectly investigates this point. The added stressor of losing a parent and a readjustment of priorities created an amazing story which I found hard to put down. And one that I am probably relating a little more to than I would have expected.

This was quite an enjoyable and easy read. The open-endedness of the story meant that you could imagine Ruma and her family living long into the future. Constantly renegotiating and figuring out where they stand with each other. Her son growing to be an old man and experiencing the same reconfigurations of self and being.

 <- Unaccustomed Earth Collection ReviewHell-Heaven Review ->
Image source: Bloomsbury