Another winner from Michael Ondaatje - Haunting, cultural, a favorite.
This book is superbly written ~~ with Anil's past, present and future all interacting with the civil war happening in Sri Lanka. Anil leaves home at the age of 18 and returns years later to a different country than she had left and she tries to reconcile the two separate countries with one another only to leave in confusion.
Anil is an forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing Sri Lanka. She meets up with Sarath, her partner and his brother Gamini who is a surgeon who really sees the carnage of war. And in her search for truth, Anil embarks on a path of self-discovery along the way.
This is a beautifully written book ~~ very lyrical and lush. It isn't your typical fast-paced novel ~~ then again, life in the tropics aren't fast-paced except maybe in war. Ondaatje takes his time in developing the plot of the novel as he seems to want the reader to slow down and drink in the words he is putting forth about this island and its troubles. And you won't have trouble following along with Anil's story which is also interwined with other stories. Ondaatje keeps the same thread of idea with every one of the stories and ties them up neatly at the end.
I really enjoyed "The English Patient" and this book is just as good. Ondaatje is definitely a writer to keep an eye out for. He should be considered a classic writer ~~ he writes with a beautiful pen and brings the story with a subtle closure. His books aren't fast-paced as he wants you to think about what he is writing, especially when a person comes home and realizes that "you can't come home again." He explores the relationships between people, brothers, lovers and friends. You know where he's coming from because you've experienced it.
This is a definite keeper in anyone's library. Don't wait to pick this book up ~~ read it now and be entranced by Ondaatje's words of beauty and sorrow.