On Sal Mal Lane
A NovelBook - 2013
One of Reader's Digest Best Summer Reads (US).
Set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war, Ru Freeman's epic novel explores the lives of the diverse families that live on Sal Mal Lane and the heartbreaking ways this once harmonious community turns on one another with the country on the brink of war.
On the day the Herath family moves in, Sal Mal Lane is a quiet street, disturbed only by the cries of the children whose triumphs and tragedies sustain the families that live there. As each neighbour adapts to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries.
But when the tides of civil war begin to turn towards the neighbourhood, their differences ignite in ways no one could have imagined. As the stability of their neighborhood is threatened by clashing political beliefs and prejudices, the children of the community are forced to watch their parents and friends turn against one another. Seen through the children's eyes, the events on Sal Mal Lane come to mirror the course of modern Sri Lanka at its most violent and volatile.
A powerful, evocative work, On Sal Mal Lane masterfully illuminates the origins of this war and explores the lengths family will go to protect one another.