We don’t understand where we came from. None of us. The events that went into beginning our lives, setting the stages on which we grew up–making us who we are–are beyond our control. We’re all ripples, emanating out from a stone we may not even know exists.
Those ripples are what Jhumpa Lahiri traces in “The Lowland.” How a single event can be created by circumstance, how it can trigger a whole world of other circumstances, other lives. How a few minutes can change the world forever.
I don’t know much about the historical period the novel covers. I don’t know about the social situations the characters find themselves in. But we can all understand the ripples of life.