Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan

This book was quite intense reading. Shashi has four brothers, we meet them as a family when they all have dreams – of going to University in Jaffna or in Colombo, of becoming doctors, engineers etc. But then the civil war starts and slowly their ordered life disintegrates. Sashi loses most of her brothers, one way or another, and loses the boy she fell in love with as well.
This story is fictional, but the big events in the background (and some fictionalised events in the foreground) are true. I remember hearing about them on the news. (I grew up in Colombo in the 80s)
This is an important book, too. It’s told from the perspective of a character who was an ordinary person living in Jaffna, even though she eventually became affiliated with the Tigers it was because of her commitment to healing people, rather than any political ideology. Life is complicated, so are people’s motivations. Stories are often the best ways to show this sort of nuance.
The story is gripping. I highly recommend reading it if you want to understand the horror of living in the middle of a long running war.

I received a free ARC from Netgalley. This is my honest review.

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