The Lowland

The Lowland

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives—Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America—until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780307278265
Branch Call Number: FIC Lahiri J
Characteristics: 339 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

If you liked The Namesake, you might enjoy reading another book written by Jhumpa Lahiri.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
liljables May 24, 2021

I'd definitely call The Lowland a family saga - it spans many decades, it's told from the perspectives of almost every member of the Mitra family, and, while the narrative is anchored in real historical events that took place in India, America, and elsewhere, the story is very much character-driven. The settings of this novel are incredibly rich; I wasn't surprised to learn that the author grew up in Rhode Island, because she writes about this place so lovingly. I enjoyed the contrast between the chapters in Calcutta and those in Providence, the absolute immersion in these drastically different cultures thanks to Lahiri's lush, descriptive writing. The characters that form the backbone of this story are also vividly depicted, though certainly not gilded - I'll take a deeply flawed character over a generic "everyman" any day, and this novel is packed with the former.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Jhumpa Lahiri!

I didn't care for this book by Jhumpa Lahiri. I admire her work as a writer, however, this one disappointed me. I didn't like any of the characters. None of them seemed to have much personality. So much of the book was long drawn out narration. I loved her first novel, The Namesake, but this fell short for me.

Jun 09, 2020


Apr 19, 2019

I loved this book so much! It's a well-research tale of the consequences of grief. Every character is so well developed and portrayed. I also loved how, though the story is centered around Udayan's death, we as reader get to know him and mourn his death with his family members. A bittersweet and moving novel about how life goes on, whether we are ready for it or not.

Harriet_the_Spy Dec 12, 2016

As you read this masterful novel, you think you are learning how family secrets haunt the present. Yet at the end of the novel we discover we too have been lied to, and the weight of the past is political as much as familial. An amazing subversion of the family saga.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

The Lowland is a fabulous novel, and while there were characters, scenes, and moments that I thought could've been pared down some to allow the work to breathe, these were relatively minor. Overall, The Lowland is wonderfully paced and peopled, and the beauty of the journey is certainly worth the effort.

Apr 29, 2016

This book is one of those books that I could get defensive about. It's underrated and taken too literally. Give it a chance, don't compare it to The Namesake (please don't do this!), and focus on the relationships over the events.

It is so, so rich. The main theme for me is connection.

Mar 24, 2016

Book club, didn't care for it

Jan 26, 2016

I give this one two stars but only for the quality of the writing which is quiet, understated, eloquent. This is a book about loss. As a lonely foreign student, Subhash is abandoned by the older woman with whom he has established a relationship. Then without realizing it, he is victimized by the selfish actions of his brother who, having married a girl against his parents' wishes, gets himself killed and leaves his young pregnant widow as an outcast in his parents' home. That in turn destroys Subhash's relationship with his parents when he marries his brother's widow to take her away to America. His marriage is doomed from the start and after his wife's abrupt departure, even his relationship with his beloved adopted daughter drifts into nothing. The aging Subhash becomes increasingly lonely, abandoned and directionless.
The book moves slowly, with no discernible object, simply the sad, depressing story of a man who has failed, seemingly through no fault of his own.

Dec 01, 2015

I would have given this beautifully written book 4.5 stars, feeling it was marred only by a somewhat weak ending. Subhash and Udayan are two brothers: Udayan is the revolutionary son, Subhash is the dutiful son. When Udayan dies an early death, the ramifications span two continents and 4 generations. Although most of the characters are just everyday people living everyday lives, the author makes us want to care and know more about them.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
May 04, 2020

JackieDaytona thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Quote
TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GCPL

To Top