Cinnamon Gardens (Harvest Book)

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9780156013284: Cinnamon Gardens (Harvest Book)

Set in 1920s’ Ceylon, during the turbulent closing days of colonial rule, this evocative story of intertwined lives takes us behind the fragrant gardens and polished surfaces of the elite who reside in a wealthy suburb of Colombo to reveal a world of splintered families, conflicted passions, and lives destroyed by class hatred. Annalukshmi, a spirited young schoolteacher, finds herself caught between her family’s pressures to marry and her own desire for a more independent life. Then there is her uncle Balendran, whose comfortable life of privilege is rocked by the arrival of Richard, a lover from his past. Their uneasy reunion re-ignites tensions with Balendran’s powerful father, and threatens all on which Balendran has built his present life. Sensual, perceptive, and wise, Cinnamon Gardens is a novel of exceptional achievement – an exquisite tapestry of lives.

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Product Description:

A coming-of-age novel set in colonial Sri Lanka in the 1920s, which evokes the distinctive culture and politics of Ceylon during the years of upheaval before independence.

Review:

"'Selvadurai has captured horrifyingly well the airlessness of a society in which only a few are truly able to breathe, and deeply' Mary Loudon, The Times" "'Richly rewarding...Not least of the novel's virtues is the way he seems to conjure up a whole social panorama. With its vivid evocation of time and place, its wise characterisation, its involving emotional dramas, this is a novel that deserves, and will surely gain, a wide readership' Adam Lively, Sunday Times" "'Subtle and deeply humane...a fine novel that is both delicately written and very, very wise...Selvadurai has established himself firmly as an important chronicler of the complexities of social and cultural difference' Books in Canada"

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