Like her other books, e.g. The Namesake, this book focuses on the lives of Indian immigrants to the US. Many angles are explored: kids growing up, marriages, professional lives, the community, moving back and forth to India, life events, and more.
Lahiri’s writing is exceptional. She draws fine details and everyday scenes, and you feel like you’re part of the scene, present right there. It’s uncanny. It helps, for me personally, that much of the book takes place in Massachusetts, so the locations are familiar.
The issues she deals with are also familiar to me as an immigrant myself. When my family moved to the US from Israel in the early 1990s, we dealt with many similar issues. There is much in common between the Indian and Israeli communities and their traditions. Then when my parents moved back to Israel a couple of years ago, again we dealt with many issues mentioned in the book.
If you’re looking for a different kind of beach or airplane read, try Unaccustomed Earth. You’ll be more drawn in than you might expect.