The Namesake -

This was my second time reading this book and I really enjoyed it. Lahiri's prose is very clean, and it just flows effortlessly from one page to the next. I think the beginning of the book that chronicles Ashima's first years in America are just amazing. I love her character. I think the way Lahiri addresses Gogol's struggles with his heritage by examining the choices he makes in his love life is just wonderful. Gogol loves Maxine because she reminds him of everything his family isn't. He loves Moushumi because she reminds him of everything his family is. I've read a lot of people complaining that they feel Lahiri uses too much exposition. On one hand, I can see their point. For instance, there are very few actual scenes during the sections that chronicle Gogol and Maxine's relationship, but I think that's on purpose. It's Maxine's overall lifestyle he's in love with not necessarily Maxine herself. So they're aren't any moments to chronicle. It feels like Gogol just got swept up in her world, and the way it's written really conveys. All of the days sort of blurred for him. It was kind of a whirlwind courtship. The only complaint I have about the novel is that Gogol does often seem to find himself the victim in all of his relationships.

 

SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

I especially didn't like the portrayal of his relationship with Moushumi. I feel like she takes too much of the blame for the ending of that relationship. She comes off a bit too villainous for me. I actually think that the movie adaptation of this book did a much better job of portraying her. It does a better job of highlighting the things she gave up to try and be the perfect Indian wife. There's hints of it in the text, but I think that could've been explored more. Other than that I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.