I loved this tale of two young girls growing up in the fast-changing, and at times violent, new country of Sri Lanka. It is a long novel but easy to read - and the wry commentaries and gentle humour reminded me greatly of Jane Austen.
'A girl who is named Latha will grow up to be like a clinging vine. Not just because she will be graceful and lovely, but because she will be a perfect wife. She will cling to her husband as a creeper clings to a tree. His strength will support her, and her beauty will decorate his sturdy branches.'
Latha looked down at the floor, hoping by this means to avoid Tsunami's amused eyes. She wished Amma would stop giving her silly little lecture. It was unnecessary. It was unforgivable. She would never live it down.
'I understand, Auntie. A kind of parasite,' Tsunami said and calmly changed the subject.