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Unique and Special
I like books that tell a story that is not a formula. It always seems to add something special when there is an historic element. At times I had trouble keeping track of who all the characters are, so I found myself creating a character list at the front of the book. My least favorite part of the book was when some of the characters moved to the Los Angeles area. While I realize that this is an important part of the history of the USA and the immigrant experience, somehow I felt like I lost a little interest at this point. Still, it is a very good book.
Takes you to another time and place
I wasn't sure what I would think of this book when I started it, war stories aren't my favorite. I also found it difficult to keep all of the characters straight. However, once I got past the first few chapters none of that mattered.
War from a woman's perspective.
This book is so beautifully written that it was almost like I was taken to another time and place where the events were happening. The imagery that her words evoke is amazing! It opened my heart and gave me a great deal of empathy for those living in war torn countries. I highly recommend it.....
Having read quite a few immigrant fiction about the diaspora South Asian and others, I wasn't expecting much. Island of a thousand mirrors is a story about the Sri Lankan civil war and refreshingly enough all the major protagonists are women. I have vivid memories of Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi being assassinated by the LTTE female suicide bombers. Having been very aware of India's failed peace keeping efforts in Lanka, I remember wondering about the Buddhist ahimsa going awry in that part of the world where monks were the killers and where the Buddhist majority went on a carnage against the Tamil (hindu) minority, thanks to colonial England's segregate and rule policy. Later the cry for an independent Eelam by the Tamil tigers led that country into 20 plus years of the worst kind of atrocities.
Glen H. (Ovid, ID)
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Munaweera's book captures the gore, & the human element of war without machismo, glamour, or pontifications. Her story is judgment free and poignantly beautiful. It brings the gorgeous Island of Sri Lanka to life and paints the life of it's protagonists: Yasodhara, Saraswati, Lanka, Shiva etc...in a very three dimensional way. I absolutely love this book and thank you Book browse for sending me a free copy. I highly recommed this book. It exposes the beauty of Sri Lanka and makes me want to visit. Unwittingly, Munaweera paints a beautiful picture of a verdant island...
If found it difficult to navigate through the maize of relationships in the first half of this novel. Once the war started and the plot narrowed; the characters took shape, and I was moved by the story, and appreciated the authors range and depth of description. Presenting a sympathetic view of a suicide bomber is an amazing accomplishment. I also loved the way the novel ended. I hope this author continues to write, and moves beyond the autobiographical realm.
Molly B. (Longmont, CO)
Munaweera's writing is exquisite. It flows so smoothly it seems casual. There are no wasted words or dull prose. Each sentence is a new structure and complete idea, yet it flows seamlessly between the one before and after. She presents vividly the breathtaking beauty found in Sri Lankan nature and the heart-wrenching joys and sorrows found in human relationships. Matter-of-factly interspersed are intense, brutal, numbing depictions of the unnatural and inhuman actions of civilian warriors. I experienced some difficulty following the characters and their relationships. I am not at all familiar with Sri Lankan names, and I had to write down family trees and notes as I read to keep them straight. I would recommend reading the book in as few sittings as possible. I will reread this book soon, with pleasure, and I look forward to more of her work.
A wonderful historical fiction read
I did not know much of Sri Lanka before this lyrical book. Yasodhara tells the story of her loving family who want for nothing. It also tells the story of friendship and lasting ties to another person. A wonderful historical fiction read!
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)
slow at first but then took off
At first, I was not excited to read this book. It was not until I got a little further into the book that it really grabbed my attention. I thought that the characters were well described but did have some difficulty following them.
Diane P. (Deer Park, WA)
Great debut novel...
I would recommend this book for a book club discussion as I feel it would generate some good discussions. The main character of the book really became someone I would love to meet and talk to.
Other then the slow start, I would give this book a four star out of five star rating.
Island of a Thousand Mirrors is the story of two families on opposite sides of the civil war that raged in Sri Lanka for 26 years. Told by the eldest daughter of each family, the story is definitely told from a woman's view.
Ever since reading Anil's Ghost Sri Lanka has interested me as to how such a small country could have such a brutal history. The civil war based on ethic lines cost the lives of thousands of Sri Lanka's citizens especially the Tamil.
While the Sinhalese family immigrated to America the Tamil family remained in Sri Lanka, either family was spared in this conflict. It is clear that any country that is involved in a 26 year civil war leaves no citizen of that country unharmed.
Nayomi Munaweer writing was even and flowed well. I truly enjoyed her writing and I believe that she has a lot to offer as a writer. One thing that stood out for me was that the Tamil daughter's story was very cold and brittle. I would have liked just a bit more on her side of this story.