I actually read the book and then watched the movie so I will be mentioning both!
This was a wonderful novel...it follows an Indian family from the time they are married (arranged) till their son Gogol is all grown up. The story focuses on Gogol named after his father's favorite author. Gogol grows up first-generation American and takes on all the struggles that that entails. How does he immerse himself in one culture while hanging onto another? We follow Gogol through his life and struggles...he hates being Indian and is embarrassed by his parents. He wants to break out from this mold and chooses to be an architect when his parents want him to be something more distinguished like an engineer or a doctor. He refuses to date Indian women, he even changes his name to Nikhil and people begin to call him Nick.
As a reader along for the ride I wanted Gogol to be proud of who he is and to be proud of the struggles and sacrifices his parents have and are going through and to be appreciative and loyal...but that's life and it's all about the journey. Gogol does learn how to appreciate who he is and am so glad I was along for the ride!
The movie was really well-done...it didn't quite have the impact of the novel, but that's to be expected. They did throw some details into the movie that made it a bit more personal than the book did so that was a nice change. I recommend reading the book first and you'll better enjoy the movie!