Book Review: The Namesake

NamesakeI had a friend growing up who’s parents were from India. I honestly never thought that much about it. He was nice and his older sister was nice and that’s about it. After reading this book, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, it has made me wonder if he had a similar experience to what the main character went through in this book.

Gogol, the main character was born in the United States. His parents had an arranged marriage in India and then moved to Boston for school. Gogol grows up in America between two different cultures. He’s surrounded by Americans at school, but while at home he is submerged in the Indian culture speaking Bengali.

This story is Gogol’s story, but it’s also the story of his parents, and anyone else who has grown up torn between two cultures. It’s a story of love and loss, finding oneself, and discovering how one’s past can have an impact on the story.

I recommend this book for a few reasons. 1- it’s not predictable. It’s sad at times and you can’t be sure how it will end, but there’s hope. 2- if you don’t know much about Indian culture (like me) it’s quite interesting. I love how family is so important. 3- It’s a pretty quick read so if you just need something to pick up, you won’t be disappointed. I’m sure there are other reasons too why I like it, but I will just leave it at that for now. I have heard they made this book into a movie. Has anyone else read this or seen the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Any other good Indian Lit books out there I should pick up?

I learned about this book from my friend on Goodreads. Is anyone out there on Goodreads? If so, let’s be friends. I’m always in search of new book recommendations.

I’m currently reading:

  • Shogun by James Clavell (will be reading this forever)
  • Tell the Wolves I’m home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Wissbluth
  • Speedliter’s Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites by Syl Arena



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