First read of the year and I ended up thanking the invisible Gods (if there is one) for being born and able to reside in a peaceful (?) country. I can never fathom the pain, trauma, helplessness each person would have felt when the war-ravaged and took away the very life, they were living! The dead at least would be painless but people who are alive, helpless and fearing for their life, not being able to sleep or eat, not knowing if they will be alive to see the dawn, not being able to keep their loved ones together with them, is something unimaginable.
Nayomi Munaweera was able to show how the war changes the course of life of people. Overnight, you have been torn apart, from your insides, from your soul, from your homes, from lives which would have coursed if war did not have happened. She showed the tremendous strength some people show on uprooting themselves and start all over again, in a different country and also those less fortunate, families, who had no choice but to succumb to the unknown was heart-wrenching.
Her description of Sri Lanka is mesmerizing. The glistening water, the pungent smells, the bright colors, and of course the people, on either side of the war. I enjoyed the lengthy descriptions about the Rajasinghe family but would have loved to know more about the “North” side, their great-grandmothers, and their life before the war. That would have made this novel more wholesome!!
Her tale showed that there is no right or wrong in war, only the dead and those who live with its horrors. It somehow made me realize, humans, are animals, just held in captivity of some rules and rights of society. When breached, in the name of religion or region they are quickly able to discriminate against another human.
Definitely a must read!