The Beach at Galle Road
Oct 19, 2012
Author: Joanna Luloff
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 2, 2012)
When rumors of civil war between the ruling Sinhalese and the Tamils in the northern sector of Sri Lanka reach those who live in the south, somehow it seems not to be happening in their own country. At least not until Janaki's sister, Lakshmi--now a refugee whose husband has disappeared--comes back to live with her family. And when Sam, an American Peace Corps worker who boards with Janaki's family, falls in love with one of his students, a young girl from the north, he, too, becomes acutely aware of the dangers that exist for any- one who gets drawn into the conflict, however marginally.
Skillfully weaving together the stories of these and other intersecting lives, The Beach at Galle Road explores themes of memory and identity amid the consequences of the Sri Lankan civil war. From different points of view, across generations and geographies, it pits the destructive power of war against the resilient power of family, individual will, and the act of storytelling itself.
Interesting concept for a story. You basically take a house and centralize the story around it. One home spiderwebs many stories in and around the area and family members. Not all the stories in this book are in this house, but if they're outside, they center around someone who lived there at one time.
The home is in Sri Lanka and through the years not only has family coming and going, but several American teachers/teaching students who are hosted there while they teach for a year or two at the local school.
The war rages in and around the pages of the book, the stories themselves center on the various people in the house - each chapter is another story. Lost souls, transplants to the country, school girls, woman wanting to run their own home, these are some of the stories.
The book is filled with interesting descriptions of the area, the culture and general way of life. You can't become bored with the characters as they're always changing.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org