Short Book Review: Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera
SBR: Island of a Thousand Mirrors follows the lives of its characters through Sri Lankan civil war. It is the kind of novel that you read to understand the war, not for its politics, but for the people it comes from and affects. The prose is beautiful, and a lot of research has been done before writing the book. Still it was painfully obvious to me that it has been written by someone who has watched things from afar. The autobiographical protagonist is also, therefore, not in the middle of things and dealing more with her experience of immigration than with the war. The other protagonist who is in the war doesn’t feel as real. She is well researched. But that results in a beautiful portrait rather than a real young woman. She is also introduced a little too late. Overall, though, the book conveys its point. The reality and the futility of war and how there are no heroes and villains, no real winners.
To read or not to read: You can read at leisure. No need to move it to the top of your reading pile unless you are specifically reading books from/about Sri Lanka.