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.
FYI: Born in Sri Lanka, Selvadurai lives in Toronto.