2020 Oct 8
A book of order from chaos
“Either way, by the time I turned fifteen, nothing was ever the same again. Death, violence and terror had become part of life.”
The book is written from the perspective of an insider, which rightfully attributes genuinity to her account of horrors. The narrative poignantly paints a picture of 1980’s Jaffna, hardships and routine life of the Tamilian community who co-existed with the Sinhalese. Although the detailed personal experiences of war are the highlight of the novel, what strikes the most are the reasons why she was propelled to join the Tamil Tigers.
Fuelled by love and responsibility to her community, she is not portrayed as a person succumbing to youthful impulses. Caught between the dilemma of abandoning her family, and choosing a community that needs her help, her decision changes her life forever.
“I have everything, Amma, but the Tamils don’t have freedom.”
Her empathy towards the plight of the Tamilian and Sinhalese community is remarkably described in the novel. As a teenager, the writer’s understanding of government agendas is noteworthy in a time of extremist notions. The narrative lets the reader question the reality of manipulative forces at work, even today. The writer is successful in seamlessly navigating the reader through an insightful exploration of war and its victims, notably, the soldiers.
This is a gripping work of conflicting emotions and perspectives you shouldn’t miss.