Ashlie’s #CBR5 Review #16: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

“For being a foreigner, Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy – a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts.” The Namesake is a poignant and honest observation of family, cultural differences, and self discovery and the ways our experiences and upbringing inform our adult lives.

I honestly don’t want to say too much because I really enjoyed this book and want to let others go into it blind, as I did, as I feel it improves the experience. I will say that for me this is one of those books that really makes you feel what the characters are feeling and succeeds at unifying the human experience by showing that despite cultural differences, we are really at the core the same. It is definitely a read that will stay with you long after you put it down.

Ultimately we are all people trying to make it through. Some have it better, some have it worse, but we are all just trying to make sense of the hands we were dealt. “They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”

5 thoughts on “Ashlie’s #CBR5 Review #16: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

  1. The movie isn’t terrible, but i wanted it to be so much more.
    Kal Penn does his best, but is woefully miscast. However, Irrfan Khan is lovely and heartbreaking as Gogol’s dad.

  2. She has another short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, that is also quite good. I adored The Namesake and really enjoyed both her short fiction collections. And I totally agree with scootsa100; the movie isn’t as beautiful and affecting as the book but Irrfan Khan’s performance is incredibly moving.

  3. One of my favorite parts about The Namesake is the way literature becomes a fabric in our lives. Especially considering how Gogol gets his name. I won’t say more, because, like you, it’s better for people to go in unspoiled. 😉

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