When Yalini moves, with her parents, to Montreal to care for her dying uncle, she learns about the civil war and her parents' generation's choices. Uncle stays in their home country and is part of the resistance, while her parents chose to immigrate to the US. The resistance is now considered terrorists by the US and as their children become adults, there are still ties to Sri Lahnka, including fund raising for the Tamil Tigers.
This book began as part of the author's senior thesis. She states that there was much that was not included, so that it might read like fiction. It made me think about the lines between resistance and terrorism and how the next generation will view parents' choices and their place between the two countries (adopted and home)
Love Marriage is a great story about love, family, and generational differences in a big Sri Lankian web of characters during the civil war. This beautiful story connects the reader to every single character (a map of the families inside the front cover) and is a quick, easy, rewarding read.
This story is set both in the west (America and Canada) and in Sri Lanka of the 1990s to the Sri Lankan Independence and a bit earlier in the island nation's history. It took me a while to get used to the author's style of writing, but once I did, I really enjoyed the story. I've lived part of my life in Colombo, Sri Lanka though not during the period of the ethnic war, so I can vouch for the authenticity of the descriptions of village life, customs and arranged marriages.
I appreciated how the author told the marriage story of so many people in the heroine's family, and she did it so deftly bringing alive each person giving them a distinctive identity and outlook on life. There are love marriages where the two people find each other on their own and get married out of love for each other. This is the form of marriage most common in places like America. There are also arranged marriages. Some of the arranged marriages in the book are quite successful. Some are abysmal failures. There is some mention of domestic violence though it's not particularly long or graphic. I'm just mentioning it in case it's a trigger for a potential reader of this story.
My one quibble with Love Marriage is that nearly all the women in the book are beautiful or very beautiful. Other than that minor issue, I would recommend this story to anyone interested in South Asian literature or the diaspora experience of people who left war torn countries. This book is a keeper. I can't part with it.
This is an ARC (advanced reading copy).