Review Time of 3 Brilliant Works!

So, here is to the brilliancy that I enjoyed and lived with during past few days.

Unaccustomed Earth (starting with my favorite of three)


Wasn’t it terrible that after all the work one put into finding a person to spend one’s life with, after making a family with that person, even in spite of missing that person, as Amit missed Megan night after night, that solitude was what one relished most, the only thing that, even in fleeting, diminished doses, kept one sane?
Jhumpa Lahiri (A Choice of Accommodations)

If you want a mystery, if you want a thriller, if you want suspense, if absence of any of the above elements saddens you then, my friend, Jhumpa Lahiri isn’t your writer.

But, if emotions are what you crave for, if the mundane yet intricate daily situations are what move you, if the simplicity of complicated life and complications of a simple life intrigues you then I cannot recollect of a better person than Jhumpa Lahiri.

This book, another anthology, another 5 starer FiveStars by Jhumpa Lahiri will move you in ways you had never known, or probably were aware of but never wanted to be reminded of by a second person. Every story is different, different in themes, different in feelings, yet the protagonists, like in Interpreter of Maladies, Indian (bengali) migrants bind these tales together.

Story-telling- she is master of; pressing the right nerve at the right time- she holds the mastery of it too. But another element of her writings, which to an extent influence my writings too, is leaving open-ending, most of the times; you’d be left with wanting more yet you’d realize gradually that it was for the best to have gotten that story an end.

Is it similar to Interpreter of Maladies?- Yes. Why to read it then?- Because here you will experience the stories that you hadn’t in IOM, here you will live the lives of a mother, a father, a wife, a husband, a lover, a brother, a sister. Also, the part-2 of the book is a collection of 3 short-stories but, if kept together, is nothing less than a novella.

A human could be alive for years and years, thinking and breathing and eating, full of a million worries and feelings and thoughts, taking up space in the world, and then, in an instant. Become absent, invisible.
– Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth)

And now, after savoring Jhumpa Lahiri’s anthologies, I am looking forward, with high hopes, towards her novels.

Little women

little women

…never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.
Louisa M. Alcott (Little Women)

The reason why I have developed a taste for classics is the narration of simplicity and the simplicity of narration. Narration is what, I have come to realize lately, affects my final feelings once a novel ends. And the classics that I have relished so far have always parted from me with some beautiful feelings.

This novel, Little Women, is all about four little sisters, who are bounded by blood but are as different from each other as you, probably, are from me. The book is their journey of an year, from one Christmas to another Christmas; yet how an year can change one’s life in ways one cannot even comprehend- that can be taken from this book.

Narration by Louisa was wonderful. I, especially, loved the start and end of the book. The way she left on us, the readers, to decide if there would be any sequel to this novel. It just reminds me of what readers are for writers, perhaps fuel to an automobile.

Anyhow, I loved every bit of the book. But still I couldn’t give it 5 stars. Why? Because, consciously or subconsciously, I now compare any classic that I read with Bronte’s Jane Eyre; and Little Women did leave me with slightly milder feelings than Jane Eyre; no other reason can I think of.

There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in the corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.
Louisa M. Alcott (Little Women)

But a must-read 4 starer4 out of 5 it, Little Women, definitely is.

Family Matters


The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
Rohinton Mistry (Family Matters)

After having read a lot of American and English novels in a row, I wanted to enjoy and experience something Indian, something that had Indian people, Indian states, Indian culture at the heart of its plot. And I stumbled upon a name- Rohinton Mistry. Glad I am that I picked up his work.

If you’re looking forward to something thrilling, this book might disappoint you.

Family Matters, if summarized in the most naive manner, is the story of a dysfunctional family, a stepfamily; and how a fracture in Nariman’s ankle gives rise to events that would affect all the characters of the book in ways that would make one ponder- if such a small incident can bring such upheaval to lives too?

If you ignore little things, they become big problems.
Rohinton Mistry (Family Matters)

Narration- I found engaging; plot- simple on surface but deeply layered underneath; language- being an Indian, Rohinton, made full use of delivering a few Hindi words and phrases now and then, giving book an Indian touch.

I loved the significance, which one will realize only after finishing the novel, of the title. When the novel ends, one’d wonder if the title means- family does matter or that it implies- matters of a family. And, for me, the title comprises a part of both the denotations. Thus, there couldn’t have been a more apt title for the novel than Family Matters.

Though the book describes a lot about an ordinary, middle-class Indian family, it also reveals a lot about Indian (Mumbai to be precise) politics back in mid-ninetees, and the Parsi community and their customs. Rohinton, himself being from Mumbai, has utilized his experience and knowledge of the place, which only accentuated the story.

The only pitfall for me was the too-much information about Parsi community and rituals in between. Such elaboration, at times, made me to simply skim through certain paragraphs. And that’s the only reason for marking the book a 4 starer 4 out of 5 than a 5.

There’s only one way to defeat the sorrow and sadness of life – with laughter and rejoicing. Bring out the good dishes, put on your good clothes, no sense hoarding them.
Rohinton Mistry (Family Matters)

Have you read any of these? If yes, I’d love to hear your experience in the comments section!


No credit for the Images used
Copyright © 2017 by Idle Muser. All rights reserved.





12 Comments Add yours

  1. Little Women, I loved Part 1 🙂 Jane Eyre is a favorite too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Idle Muser says:

      Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics; it is a whole package of various kinds of emotions- pain, solace, wonder, suspense, horror, hope, everything.
      Little Women- it is a darling too. But the edition I read from, it wasn’t divided into any parts, as far as I can remember.🤔
      And I went through your blog. For the first time in a year of my blogging did I come across a blog solely dedicated to one single book. There are plenty on books, dedicated to reviews on various books, but yours is certainly different. ‘Little Women’ is definitely the book you live for.😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes initially Little Women was published in two parts – the first part ended with Meg’s engagement to John Brooke and Mr March being home. Then the second part Good Wives starts with everyone being a few years older and Meg about to get married. There aren’t very many editions around that have the two separately – when I was a teen that happened to be the one I read, and I didn’t actually know about part 2 until years later 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. TAJWAR FATMA says:

    I haven’t read any of these, but after going through your reviews, I’m getting one soon. Btw I love Jhumpa Lahiri ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Idle Muser says:

      Oh yes yes! You should. In fact, if you haven’t, read Jane Eyre before Little Women; both are entirely different.
      Jhumpa Lahiri is all heart.🙏 Though, Rohinton Mistry’s work also has same kind of rippling effect as Lahiri’s. But Lahiri is still ‘the’ one for me.😊


  3. prashantt says:

    I’ve only read The Namesake from Jhumpa Lahiri and i found it far better than the books i used to read as there is a huge difference of art of storytelling & ofcourse the kind of writing style.
    I’ll keep these books for future reads because without any strictness you’ve spend 5 star & 4 star to these books although these books seems to be different from the genre i prefer to read( i don’t know whether you’ll give any star to them)😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Idle Muser says:

      Oh! I soon will devor Lahiri’s novels. Haven’t got a chance yet.
      You know why I love her work?- Probably because of the simplicity; there hardly will ever be any element of suspense (even you’re anticipating some discloser at the end, you might feel betrayed as there won’t be any); yet I can’t get enough of her stories. You will read about all and any kind of relationship and the depth of each action; actions that might seem subtle from outside are actually subtle deep within too, sometimes. Her stories make me live a character or a scene or a story for days.

      Definitely. Try reading them. You might or might not like them but you won’t know unless you read.☺️
      And I do read romance genre too, Prashantt. I’ve nothing against them.😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. prashantt says:

        Some writers have magic in pen that gives not a story but a experience, and Lahiri’s books are among them
        I will definately go for it & will come back to you after reading it.
        For now i’ll be looking forward to your next short story as i found such connect with them.
        Haha..i was just joking around, hope you didn’t mind atleast some stories will get 5 star now😅😅
        Keep writing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Idle Muser says:

          I have become quite irregular here now; time to buck myself up. I have to. Monday will come up with a new write-up.🙂


  4. bloggeray says:

    I’ve read none of these. But all the three sound interesting. And great reviews as well.
    I’d like to read Jhumpa Lahiri some day. I had a chance to read The Namesake but somehow missed it.
    One suggestion. Why don’t you post individual, detailed reviews for each of these?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Idle Muser says:

      If I will say this one more time I might sound like an obsessed freak but just one more time- Lahiri is all heart and I look up to her!🙏
      Though I haven’t read any of her novel yet only the short-stories but I do feel positive about her longer works too.

      Actually, this post wasn’t supposed to be even a blogpost. I mean these were the reviews that I had written for Goodreads and then, out of somewhere and nowhere, the idea of zipping them in a post stuck me, and I did that.😄
      Posting detailed reviews (like yours) is something I haven’t planned of but will surely consider your suggestion.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bloggeray says:

        I guess I should read her too, sooner rather than later.

        That sounds interesting, posting on Goodreads. And yes, it is indeed a good idea to zip different reviews in a post here. You could also try linking each to your Goodreads page.

        I post the full text of my blog reviews on Goodreads. Never occurred to me that I should write a shorter, separate version for that.
        Give detailed reviews on blog a try. You might start enjoying doing them. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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