Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!
Unaccustomed Earth* by Jhumpa Lahiri
What the book is about:
In this collection of eight short stories the author explores how the lives of people are changed as they migrate from place to place, specifically from South Asia to America. She asks the question whether — as a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne suggests — people thrive when they “strike their roots into unaccustomed earth” instead of being “planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil.”
First Sentence of the First Short Story:
“After her mother’s death, Ruma’s father retired from the pharmaceutical company where he had worked for many decades and began traveling in Europe, a continent he’d never seen.”
Isn’t it interesting how much word choice matters? The author makes it clear to the reader that Ruma is the main character by introducing the father by his relationship to Ruma. In fact, the author does not even name him until much further on.
Glancing through the pages, I’m taken by how extensive the descriptions are. The book I read last week, Night Watch, was heavy on dialogue and light on descriptions. It will be interesting to see how the two compare.
How much description do you like in the novels you read?