Aruni returns to the island of her birth, Sri Lanka, aching to discover the truth about her mother, the wild and sensual beach girl, Mala. Happy for the first time in her life, Aruni believes she has found the place to which she belongs. But as the tragic story of Mala’s life unfolds, Aruni finds that belonging makes its own relentless claims …
‘Island quest, a potent dream … Lokugé’s prose is languid, it’s almost slow motion. The effect is of swimming through deep, dark, clogged water. Her expert prose is drenched with imagery, the mood is hot and sea-salty, faintly threatening. We waft with Aruni day after seeming endless day as she delves further and further, scrap by tantalising scrap, into the truth. The powerful ending, at night, on the beach, amid sea-tossed coconuts with kernels “as soft as a woman’s sex” is no less shocking for its inevitability.’ – Susan Kurosawa
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