Words of Asia | Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera


For a listing to the links for all the other review posts for the Words of Asia blog event click here.

About the Authour:
Nayomi Munaweera was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. At the age of three she immigrated with her family to Nigeria. Her family later settled in Southern California in 1984. Island of A Thousand Mirrors, is her first novel and it was actually first published in South Asia in 2012 before it was released in America by St. Martin’s Press in 2014.

Where Does it Take Place?
Both own Sri Lanka where all the characters are from and later some parts take place in America as one of the families in the book escapes the conflict by moving to the USA.



What’s it About:
Book has two “sections”. First half we get to know all the major players in the story personally at different ages and stages of their life. Set at the beginning in Sri Lanka, the story gradually shifts settings as some of the characters choose to escape from the island and immigrate to the USA. We then get to see, who is Yasodhara who is Sinhala try to adjust to life in America with her family.

The second part of the book has a bit of a time skip to tell the story of Saraswathi, a young Tamil girl in Sri Lanka who wants to become a teacher. It then moves back and forth between Yasodhara and Saraswathi as the two become connected through a major tragic event. Throughout the entire two girls with their different backgrounds provide readers with the perspectives of the two warring cultural groups. As a result we get two sides to the conflict.

My Thoughts:
The writing in Island of a Thousand Mirrors is simple yet very tender and the prose just flows effortlessly from page to page. I loved learning more about the civil war and conflict in Sri Lanka as it was something that I was not aware of before reading this book. Munaweera does a good job of examining the immigrant experience from the perspective of children who are coming into a new, foreign country where they are made to realize that they are different from their peers in more ways than one. In addition she does an equally good job at portraying the life of families who are stuck living in a war-torn country and how they struggle in their day-to-day lives to survive. I really enjoyed Yasodhara story more as it was interesting to see the person she grew up to become, and the relationships she would develop as well as the hardships she had to endure herself. I always love hearing the stories of women who become involved or are affected by major conflicts and overall, Island of a Thousand Mirrors is a heartbreaking but truly beautiful book.

You’ll like this book, if you love:
Stories about strong women who will do anything for their family and to survive.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Nevertheless, regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.


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