Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri

Summary:  These eight stories by beloved and bestselling author Jhumpa Lahiri take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand, as they explore the secrets of family life.  Unaccustomed Earth  subtly renders the most intricate workings of the heart and mind.  (Summary from book - Image from www.literarychicago.com )

My Review:   Unaccustomed Earth is a national bestseller and a New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year written by Pulitzer prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri.  It has been hailed as "lucid and revelatory...universal and deeply felt" by the Washington Post Book World and "ferociously good" by Oprah magazine.   High praise.  Must be pretty amazing, right?

Meh

I wish that I could gush about the hours I spent lost in the pages of Unaccustomed Earth.  I've read some absolutely glowing reviews of this book and felt it was an insightful exploration of family relationships and the depth and breadth of human emotion, but mostly...well...I was just bored. Really bored.  Each story was thoughtful and well-written, and I just didn't care.  I tried to give it a chance.  I read all but the last 100 pages of this 333 page book (five of the eight stories), but finally stopped when I realized that I was just forcing myself to read something I had no interest in reading.  I don't have time for that.

Obviously, there are a lot of people out there who loved this book.  I think that right now, while I swim in pregnancy hormones and house-on-the-market stress, this book simply didn't do what I needed it to -- distract me from real life.  If anything, it threw "real life" under the microscope.  If you're up for a more intellectual read, give it a try.  You might like Unaccustomed Earth, even if I didn't.

My Rating: 2.75 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  Some scattered profanity, sexual situations, and sexually suggestive dialogue.

Sum it up:  Well written, but not what I wanted or needed at the time.

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