Amma never cries for Kumar. This is because she thinks he is still alive. At the end of each day, when the sun is falling quickly over water, the bats starting to stream over the violet-dusk sky, she stands at the door waiting for him. She never says his name, but I know she is still waiting. Stupid Amma.Written with the background of the civil war in Sri Lanka and spanning four generations of a Sinhalese family, Island of a Thousand Mirrors is primarily a story of two girls - Yashodhara Rajasinghe, a Sinhalese whose family had decided and succeeded in migrating to the America and Saraswati a young Tamil girl, who had dreams to become a school teacher but whom circumstances converts into a skilled killer participating in the civil war fighting for Eelam. Island of a Thousand Mirrors is the story in which, straddling opposite sides of the long and brutal civil war in Sri Lanka, two girls - one Sinhala, the other Tamil - navigate their histories, sibling rivalries and adolescent heartbreaks, the burdens of exile and belonging, and the harsh demands of survival until the lives of Yashodhara and Saraswati brutally intersect at the end of the novel.
Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel is minimalist yet skilful. In beautiful and lucid prose the author is able to present the various worlds that are shattered by the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Very skilfully she represents the face of human emotions.
For a moment I remember Amma, Luxshmi and Appa. My heart is stabbed. It is so strange. The last walk of my life and I am here with this man I barely know. No one I love. No one will remember me.Island of a Thousand Mirrors is a book that not only provides an insider's view of the war but also rests on the basic human desire of surviving. Although I had difficulty to connect with the characters initially, surprisingly however, I was not aware when I was sucked into the powerful whirlwind of the strong narrative. As a reader, the only hiccup I felt was the introduction of the major character Saraswati only after middle of the book.
Good Read. Only in very rare works does the distinction between Fiction and Non Fiction get blurred so easily. I had received the review copy from Hachette India. Thank you Hachette India for giving me this opportunity. You can buy this book at amazon or at Flipkart in case you live in India.
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