Goodreads Book Review – Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Unaccustomed EarthUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this book because I love The Interpreter of Maladies. ‘A Temporary Affair’ remains one of the most wonderful and poignant short stories I have ever read.

The stories in this book are good, but not quite up to the standard of the ones before. ‘A Choice of Accommodations’ in particular, was a bit blah. The themes of the dischord felt by the middle class Indian diaspora are familiar and explored in interesting ways, but the stories didn’t resonate quite as well, probably because I, as a reader, have already seen some of these themes in the earlier books. Or maybe it’s because this book focuses on the second generation Indian-Americans, whose identities are different to those of their parents. Whatever the reason, I was left with the impression of beautiful writing (and it is!) but mediocre storytelling.

I did enjoy the story of Hema and Kaushick, which is more a novella than a short story. It was worth buying the book for this story.

After much dithering, I gave this 3 stars rather than 4 simply because I don’t think I’ll be reading it again. I think I’ll stick to rereading Interpreter of Maladies.

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