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10 thoughts on “Island of a Thousand Mirrors

  1. says:

    I was lulled by this narrative and its powerfully descriptive writing The thousand mirrors are the school of silver fish that inhabit

  2. says:

    Sometimes I get this breathless feeling that the war is a living creature something huge with a pointed tongue and wicked claws When the tanks rumble past in the far fields I feel it breathe; when the air strikes start and the blood flows I feel it lick its lipsIsland of a Thousand Mirrors is an intense and vivid portrait of a pi

  3. says:

    Some books just by the nature of the subject and content are so incredibly hard to read This was one such book Portraying two families caught up in the violence of Sri Lanka one family leaves and goes to the United States one family stays in what they consider their homeDid not know very much about this subject before I started read

  4. says:

    I knew pretty much nothing about the civil war in Sri Lanka before I read this novel About half way through I stopped read

  5. says:

    This is a moving saga of two families caught up in the civil war in Sri Lanka between the largely Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the largely Muslim Tamil minority It is beautifully written full of lyrical portrayals of daily life amid the beauty of the land and sea and flora and fauna of this island nation The sensuous w

  6. says:

    I try to explain There are no martyrs here It is a war between eually corrupt forcesThis is Sri Lanka during the Civil War 1983 2009 but it could have been many countries and the Tamils and Sinhalese could have been numerous ethnic groups This is a story as old as time because we’ve always been fighting each other haven’t we? Young boys have always perished for causes they barely understand; women have always been taken and b

  7. says:

    It is always hard for me to read a book that talks about immigration Living in a world of literature where the subject of immi emi and every sort of integration has been talked about so much I am always a little weary of picking up a book which yet again comes back to the same American South Asian dichotomy Moreover when a writer w

  8. says:

    The adjectives brutal and beautiful aren't normally used together but they describe this book Like others I had no idea that Sri Lanka experienced a 25 year long civil war killing over 80000 people This book chronicles that war on the lives of two families It begins in the island before the war with lovely descriptions of

  9. says:

    A powerful story told in a lyrical mannerHave read a couple of Sri Lankan authors before and being from South India With Sri Lanka close by cou

  10. says:

    In 2016 I read Nayomi Munaweera's second novel What Lies Between Us and it was one of my Top Reads of 2016 a novel of a young woman trying to adjust to life in a new country though still haunted by both the beauty

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Characters ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Nayomi Munaweera

Island of a Thousand Mirrors

Island of a Thousand Mirrors follows the fate of two families one Tamil one Sinhala as they straddle opposite sides of the long. Sometimes I get this breathless feeling that the war is a living creature something huge with a pointed tongue and wicked claws When the tanks rumble past in the far fields I feel it breathe when the air strikes start and the blood flows I feel it lick its lipsIsland of a Thousand Mirrors is an intense and vivid portrait of a piece of Sri Lankan history that I was relatively unfamiliar with before reading this A remarkable debut by Nayomi Munaweera this novel is beautifully written juxtaposing the stunning landscape of this island country with its ravaging horrors of a civil war The imagery is remarkable As a reader I could easily envision the bright colors the sounds and the mouth watering market smells of the island I was then jolted into the shocking scenes of brutality and often graphic violence of the war The story is narrated by two daughters Yasodhara the Sinhalese and Saraswathi the Tamil We uickly learn that the two ethnic groups clash ultimately leading to war But before this happens we learn a lot about Yasodhara Rajasinghe and her parents and grandparents We glimpse forbidden love and perhaps suirm at the custom and sorrow of arranged marriages We meet Shiva the Tamil boy that lives upstairs from the Rajasinghes his family lives in fear as the conflict between groups escalates outside the safety of the four walls of their home Yasodhara s family will opt to leave their homeland and escape to America where they must try to fit in The author s portrayal of their efforts to understand and assimilate into the American culture is well done often moving and sometimes uite humorous On their first visit to the supermarket Yasodhara proclaims At the supermarket what riches greet our eyes What mounds of dew dripping perfectly formed vegetables Mountains of tangerines sparkling red onions bloodless meat We had not imagined such munificence was possible that there were so many ways one could clean a countertop so many specialized ways of wiping an ass Ha How true is that But Yasodhara and her sister Lanka or La are not satisfied with life in America and will eventually return to their home to help those left stranded and orphaned by the war Much later in the book we hear the voice of Saraswathi I wish her section was not started so late in the book She has grown up in a war zone and knows no other life but that of soldiers barbed wire and young men that never return to their families She has a dream to become a teacher and sustains herself with this hope for her future A crushing cascade of events due to the brutalities of this war will cause her life to intersect with that of the Rajasinghe family Two families unknown to one another will forever be linked This truly was a powerful story about the senselessness of war It was often heartbreaking sometimes graphic in its depictions of struggle and bloodshed At the same time it is an honest portrayal of both sides of a conflict such as this We come to see the misunderstandings the reactions to unthinkable deeds and the hurt that propagates the act of destroying our fellow human beings It s not all hopeless though life does go on and simple wonders can provide happiness and salvation I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and lush writing My only complaint other than the late introduction of Saraswathi is that I had a little difficulty keeping track of Yasodhara s family There were several relatives that came and went in the earlier part of the story and not being familiar with the names I had to remind myself who was who Fortunately a family tree is provided at the beginning of my hard copy so I was able to freuently flip there to refresh my memory 45 stars

Review Island of a Thousand Mirrors

And brutal Sri Lankan civil war Narrated by the eldest daughter of each family the story explores how each woman negotiates war. This is a moving saga of two families caught up in the civil war in Sri Lanka between the largely Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the largely Muslim Tamil minority It is beautifully written full of lyrical portrayals of daily life amid the beauty of the land and sea and flora and fauna of this island nation The sensuous world of food colorful clothes and family traditions of fishing and commerce as painted by two girls growing up in loving families gives way to the fears wrought by smoldering prejudices between peoples exploding into pervasive violence A doomed teen love relationship between the cultures is poignantly portrayed Tamil children are tragically taken up into guerilla training A girl in the Tamil family is raped and gets radicalized enough to join and fight with the insurgent Tamil Tigers The Sinhalese family takes the opportunity to emigrate to California facing a new kind of alienation there Years later the narrator and her sister return to take up the challenge of building a new society founded in hope and understandingI had only limited understanding of this war based on books by Ondaatje and news accounts over the decades For other GR readers in the same boat the Wiki article on the civil war can provide some help For 25 years from 1983 to 2009 the intermittent violent conflict resulting in 80 100 thousand deaths These are ancient peoples with distinct languages cultures and traditions The British colonial government before independence contributed to setting up the war by policies favoring the majority Sinhalese The Tamil Tigers resorted to terrorist extremes in their push for independence while the Sinhalese dominated government often resorted to genocidal brutality The Indian government and the UN tried to intervene but their efforts were usually ineffectual and the war finally ended through military conuest of the Tamil forces by the Sri Lankan governmentThe book stands above such details and speaks to the power of family bonds to instill the drive for life in their youth sufficient to navigate the forces of hate in the world and forge solutions borne of love

Characters ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Nayomi Munaweera

Migration love exile and belonging At its root it s a story of a fragmented nation struggling to find its way to a new beginning. The adjectives brutal and beautiful aren t normally used together but they describe this book Like others I had no idea that Sri Lanka experienced a 25 year long civil war killing over 80000 people This book chronicles that war on the lives of two families It begins in the island before the war with lovely descriptions of the people and their customs their food and the natural world that surrounded them It ends with the loss of not only families but an entire way of life Yes the beauty makes the brutality so much worse One of those books that is hard to read in parts I will never understand why people continue to hate each other so much

  • Kindle Edition
  • 256
  • Island of a Thousand Mirrors
  • Nayomi Munaweera
  • English
  • 01 November 2019
  • null