Lahiri is a talented writer, and her prose is smooth and readable without being oversimple. But this story was just uninteresting to me. Specifically, I didn't feel connected enough to Gogol, the main character, to really care what happened to him, and after a while the book became a chore and I seem to have stopped picking it up. I am no expert, but it would have been nice to have some tension or an unanswered question or even an ongoing conflict to make the story compelling. Without that, the book felt like chatter and like I said, I eventually just stopped reading.
I absolutely loved her story “Hell-Heaven” (in the collection Unaccustomed Earth), which makes me think the problem with this book is probably with me, not her.