Drama

A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

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This is not exactly a coming of age story, neither is it a tale that clarifies the situation that the country of Sri Lanka finds itself at the tail end of a long, tumultuous period. It is a mix of both of those above descriptions and a little more.
A young man is trying to do his bit at long last after being concerned about his identity and how he is contributing to the rebuilding of his country and himself. The intention and how it is introduced to the reader make it easy for anyone unfamiliar with the conflict to get a feel for the basics. The problem for me was that he was nursing a broken heart. This emotional reason is a predominant factor for his return to his country (or so it seemed), and it eclipsed his other ruminations for me.
His stay in India, the kind of life he led and the discriminations he faced along with the lady in question are all shown in pieces during flashbacks. The writing was great in conveying emotions which is why it was harder to focus on the other parts of his journey. Although this relationship (or the lack of it) is a significant part of Krishan and his understanding of himself, I enjoyed the other adventure more. He is getting his bearings of being part of a family once again, living within it and dealing with the day to day hurdles. These parts are highly relatable since I come from a south-Indian family, and little but the ocean differentiates some of the familial arrangements.
He journeys away from the city to attend a funeral of a woman he thought he was helping and grows along the way. I may not have enjoyed the story completely, but parts of it and the writing makes me sure that I would pick up another book by the author if given a chance.
I would recommend it to anyone who finds the blurb interesting!
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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