“Framed in an airplane window, it lies below us, its palm trees waving goodbye, its long white beaches like lit crystal, its bustle and boom forgotten. It turns smaller and smaller until from this distance it is a garden blooming in the sea.” excerpt from What Lies Between Us
“Below me the island glistens verdant green. I imagine all that it holds. Such things of horror and exhilaration as seldom gathered together……..” excerpt from Island of a Thousand Mirrors
The incandescent beauty of Sri Lanka bursts out from both the excerpts. While Island of a Thousand Mirrors narrated the heart-wrenching saga of two girls, marred by the horrific civil war, Nayomi Munaweera’s new novel,What Lies Between Us, bares the soul of a woman. The first person narrative takes the reader back in time to the protagonist’s younger years, living a privileged, yet scarred life, in a her family home in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Amidst the lush paradisal estate, with the opulence of hibiscuses and orchids, and the mighty river flowing besides, the little girl flits through her childhood. When the security of her home is taken away from her, she crosses the oceans, with her iridescent memories and her shadowed past, to find sanctuary in an alien land. What follows is a tale of anguish and pain, with the protagonist trying to reconcile with her past and seeking redemption.
But does redemption come easily?
Without giving much away, all I can say is that Nayomi Munaweera’s second novel lives up to the expectations and takes the author up a notch. Yet again, she comes out as a strong literary voice from the Sri Lankan diaspora. Her impeccable prose is a pleasure to read and the descriptive style gives life to the saga. Each character is linked deftly, making the story flow beautifully. Nayomi has the ability of taking very sensitive issues and skilfully weaving them into an passionate story.
The novel is intense, introspective and horrific at the same time. A must read!!!
“They say that family is the place of safety. But sometime this is the greatest lie; family is not sanctuary, it is not safety and succor. For some of us, it is the secret wound. Sooner or later we pay for the woundings of our ancestors. This was the truth for me and for my beautiful bright-faced child.” excerpt from What Lies Between Us.
Nayomi Munaweera’s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirror, about two women living through the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war, won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia. The Good Book Corner had published Naomi’s interview on June 20,2015. ( https://thegoodbookcorner.com/2015/06/20/interview-with-nayomi-munaweera/)
You will leave behind everything you love most dearly, and this is the arrow the bow of exile first lets fly. —DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy ( opening quote from What Lies Between Us)
Artika Aurora Bakshi
Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror.
She co-manages thegoodbookcorner.com, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts.
She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance.
Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as, talkingcranes.com, sikhchic.com, sikhnet.com.
She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016.
An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members.
Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook.
Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults.
You can reach Artika at email@example.com .