The story starts with a description of the Lowland and somehow you feel desolation fill within you. The story ebbs and flows with the two brothers and their wife. As the chapters alternate between the characters and flip back and forth in time, you are caught in it. By the time the novel reaches its foregone conclusion, you feel wrung out and ready to move on.
I read the book in parts. I kept going back to certain passages. The words and scenes tumbled in my mind at odd times. Like in the shower or as I toasted bread in the morning. The story is haunting. Yet, it is a book you can read with detachment. Not getting invested in the characters. The way you feel apathy when you see a crowd on the roadways in India. A sense of futility and helplessness.
Very few books leave me thinking about it days after I read it. The Lowland is one. Pick it up if you are in the mood for a novel that paints Kolkata with blunt, broad strokes neither hiding the blemishes nor seeking to cover up. It portrays a dysfunctional marriage with such offhandedness that it hooks you and keeps you waiting for the twist that never comes.