the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera

“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. (

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 Comedyopening quote from What Lies Between Us)


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