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A Maiden's Prayer: A Family Story Set in 1970s Sri Lanka (Paperback)
Absorbing and delightful literary novel for a rainy day
- Finalist in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Multicultural Fiction.
- Highly Commended Book, 2021 South Asia Book Awards, Young Adult Literature.
In this coming-of-age literary novel set in tropical 1970s Sri Lanka, teenager Tamara de Silva reflects with wit and warmth on the story of her uncle's marriage.
Berty Uncle, an engineer with a lucrative job in the Middle East, has plenty of girlfriends, but a laidback approach to matrimony. Despite the family's wild machinations, including employing crafty matchmakers and organizing drawing room meetings, Berty proceeds recklessly according to his own fancy.
His rejection of tradition brings startling and unexpected results. Consequently, both he and Tamara learn that one ignores the ancient ways at one's own peril.
Readers will gain insight into the following:
- Sri Lankan culture: Tamara's sharp-eyed narration open a window to a mostly unknown culture, still feeling effects of colonization by Portuguese, Dutch and British.
- Astrology: Sri Lankan beliefs in the power of Vedic Astrology and the role an individual's character plays in precipitating his karma.
- Unique coming-of-age traditions of the time.
- Political: The 70s were a turbulent period in the country's history. The world's first female prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike's policies resulted in food shortages, rationing and a rising cost of living.
It's a difficult time for the masses, yet Tamara's comical insights puts all things into meaningful perspective.
Cultural travelers and fans of literary novels from the Indian Subcontinent will love this time capsule of a book, suitable for ages 16 and up.