Book: The Namesake
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Price: Rs. 350
Publication: Harper Collins Publishers
Plot: Ashoke and Ashima Ganguly are immigrants in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the hospital after the delivery of their first child, a son, they got to know that there they have to name their son according to Hospital rules. Ashoke in hurry named his son Gogol, his favourite author and whose book saved his life once. The name has an emotional meaning to him and his wife.
Growing in an immigrant family, Gogol realized that he actually does not like his name, in fact, he hates his name and all the Bengali rituals which his parents love. He loves the American culture, and in his desire to be one of them, he changed his name to Nikhil Ganguly.
The book is a journey of Gogol, from disliking his name to embracing it. It is about a couple who are living in the United States but who don’t feel homely there. It is about the emotions of their children, who don’t feel Indian enough when they are in India and American enough when they are in America. It is about a family and their struggle to get adjusted in a country which is not their own.
My views: This is my first Jhumpa Lahiri book, and must say that the book is well written. Easy to read, but difficult to understand, because the book is not only about the story, it is about the emotions. The emotions of a man and his wife set in a country which is unknown to them, where they feel lonely. It is about the emotions of their children Gogol and Sonia, who are grown up in America and for whom America is their country, but they are not just American, they are Indian too.
I liked the way how the author has managed to show the emotions of each and every character. Though the book is mostly about Gogol, I liked the personality of Ashoke and Ashima more. The author has succeeded in portraying the emotions of both of them as parents who want their children to love their culture and country but still make sure to do things which are new to them just for their children. I loved how the journey of Gogol makes him realize the importance of his name and his family. The book does not have any happy ending, in fact, the emotions are so deep that one will feel dejected with the characters in it. But still, I would say that the book is a captivating one.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book.
Recommendations: Worth a read.
Ratings: 3.5/52 Likes