Friday, July 04, 2008

[Insert Clever Title Here]

Love Marriage by V.V. Ganeshananthan

Narrated by Yalini, this novel is told in a series of short vignettes. In the first few vignettes, I kept confusing myself because I thought the author was switching narrators when she'd start a new one off with a name, but that was just the narrator telling who she would be talking about in that particular instance.

After her uncle, who has been out of touch with the family for a long time, comes to Canada to die in peace, Yalini and her parents leave their lives in the States to spend his last months with him. Yalini's parents both immigrated from Sri Lanka, while her uncle chose to stay and join the Tamil Tigers. Yalini helps her doctor father care for her uncle, and also takes the task of family historian upon herself. Her cousin Janani is about to enter into an arranged marriage, and this partially influences the themes that Yalini focuses on in her family's history: marriage and love intermixed with ethnic violence.

It takes some time to get into it, but definitely worth the read. As the novel progresses, Yalini faces a bit of an identity crisis but ends up with a greater understanding of her past, her ancestors and their sacrifices.

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