I agree with Mrs Pierce, that the life in London was very sad amnd soul-destoying. I read this because my husband was from Sri Lanka and I still visit family regularly and my niece and husband lived in London for 5 years and also spent time with them there. I will always remener the day that he heard his cousin, a high-ranking officer, was blown up in his official car. Last time I was there I bought a book the Sri Lankan Question, actually a series of newspaper articles about the causes of dissent between Tamils and Singhalese (an extremely peace-loving people - Buddhist tradition teaches them to respect all life down to the ants in your room! So the first part of the book I was very familiar with the area and the way of life.
The second part I found very difficult and unsatisfactory. I couldn't understand why the family ties were so neglected. What is difficult to stomach sometimes as an outsider looking in is how we whites are not accepted. I would have expected a return to Sri Lanka when a crisis arose, especially as the family seems to have made no ties in England. I can only think that they could not afford the fare.
I myself did not find myself feeling accepted until very recently, when I went last year and my brother-in-law was dying in hospital in Colombo and I visited every day and was thrilled that he recognised me. I also helped with the children and the housework and generally made a contribution. Now they keep in touch and always mention what a comfort it was.
reading the section set around Mount Lavinia hotel brings such nostalgia knowing that area so well and I long to be back there. It is really evocative of how caring and involved the teachers are in the education of the children. Education is THE most important route to a better life for them and the children go to classes on Saturdays as well.
Such a pity that the London part of the book seemed to have no substance to it.Brixton Beach