Thursday, January 30, 2020

Book review by Isha Patel of Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Book review of Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The storyline in this book is quite predictable. The book starts with Gogol's, the main character', mom in the kitchen making Chana Chor, a Indian street dish. As an Indian, the starting of the book takes me back to fond memories in India.

It is a romance filled book with the urge to find one's identify. The book revolves around the name Gogol and the deepest secret that his father hid from him as well as finding his place in the world as an Indian living in American. 

This book reminds me of a book named "American Born Confused Desi." It is also about Indians losing their identify and balancing both cultures  I recommend giving this book a shot too.

A lot of people can relate to "Namesake" book, especially in South Brunswick because there are a lot of Indian here. There is this common pharse called "Asians Lost". Asians are lost as to where they belong or fit in. The questions that makes one have an identity crisis are like "are you Indian enough?" or "are you American enough?" Gogol definitely finds himself among this conflict of cultural identity. 

This book also has a lot of surprising twist and unexpected turns when it comes to Gogol's family living back in India. The concept of names is the central focus of the novel hence the name of the novel. Gogol changes his name from Gogol to Nikhil to Nick and back to Gogol while he goes through adolescence into adulthood.

I recommend this book to everyone because I really enjoyed reading this book as the language is easy to read and comprehend. It is a fast read with an unexpected plot twist at the end. The end is quite fulfilling. 

I also recommend that you read "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol because it plays a significant role in Gogol's father's secret that he has hold on to for decades. The incident that caused his father to name his Gogol, which is not an American or Indian name but rather Russian, happened on a train while his father was reading "The Overcoat." Train also plays a good motif of life and death.

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