Cinnamon Gardens

Shyam Selvadurai; Selvadurai, Shyam

Published by Penguin, 1998
ISBN 10: 0140282149 / ISBN 13: 9780140282146
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Synopsis: Set among the upper classes in the gracious, repressive and complex world of 1920s Ceylon (Sri Lanka), this evocative novel tells the story of two people who must determine if it is possible to pursue personal happiness without compromising the happiness of others. A young teacher, Annalukshmi, whose splintered family attempts to arrange an appropriate marriage for her, must decide whether the independence she craves will doom her to a life without love and companionship. It is also the story of Balendran who, respectably married, must suppress-or confront-the secret desires for men that threaten to throw his life into chaos. With sensuous atmosphere and vivid prose, this masterfully plotted novel re-creates a world where a beautiful veneer of fragrant gardens and manners hides social, personal, and political issues still relevant today.

From the Inside Flap: 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.

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Title: Cinnamon Gardens
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 1998. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Lush and beautiful, Cinnamon Gardens is a story of intertwined lives in the gracious world of Ceylon in the 1920s In a novel of exceptional achievement, Shyam Selvadurai evokes the life of the upper classes of Colombo`s wealthy suburb, Cinnamon Gardens, at a time when the power of colonial rule in the country is shifting. It tells the story of Annalukshmi, a young schoolteacher, who finds herself caught between her family`s pressures to marry and her own desire for a more independent life; a life she sees reflected in her mentor, Miss Lawton, a progressive headmistress. She comes to realize that this life is fraught with complexities and danger and with rules that cannot be broken. There is also Balendran, the obedient son of a domineering patriarch, whose story is brilliantly counterpointed with that of his niece Annalukshmi`s. He leads a comfortable existence with his wife Sonia till he learns that Richard Howland is to arrive in Colombo. This uneasy reunion with a lover from the past throws Balendran into turmoil and re-ignites tensions with his father. As the narrative unfolds and deepens a varied cast of characters emerge, including Louisa, Annalukshmi`s mother who, in the face of a failed marriage, struggles to raise her daughters alone; Arul, Balendran`s exiled brother; and the delightfully high-strung and meddlesome Philomena Barnett. Selvadurai`s sensual descriptions and keen insights take us behind the fragrant gardens and polished surfaces to reveal a world of splintered families, conflicted passions and lives destroyed by class hatred. With this novel, the author confirms his earlier promise as one of Sri Lanka`s most distinctive and talented new voices. Printed Pages: 400. Bookseller Inventory # 76461

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 1998. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Lush and beautiful, Cinnamon Gardens is a story of intertwined lives in the gracious world of Ceylon in the 1920s In a novel of exceptional achievement, Shyam Selvadurai evokes the life of the upper classes of Colombo`s wealthy suburb, Cinnamon Gardens, at a time when the power of colonial rule in the country is shifting. It tells the story of Annalukshmi, a young schoolteacher, who finds herself caught between her family`s pressures to marry and her own desire for a more independent life; a life she sees reflected in her mentor, Miss Lawton, a progressive headmistress. She comes to realize that this life is fraught with complexities and danger and with rules that cannot be broken. There is also Balendran, the obedient son of a domineering patriarch, whose story is brilliantly counterpointed with that of his niece Annalukshmi`s. He leads a comfortable existence with his wife Sonia till he learns that Richard Howland is to arrive in Colombo. This uneasy reunion with a lover from the past throws Balendran into turmoil and re-ignites tensions with his father. As the narrative unfolds and deepens a varied cast of characters emerge, including Louisa, Annalukshmi`s mother who, in the face of a failed marriage, struggles to raise her daughters alone; Arul, Balendran`s exiled brother; and the delightfully high-strung and meddlesome Philomena Barnett. Selvadurai`s sensual descriptions and keen insights take us behind the fragrant gardens and polished surfaces to reveal a world of splintered families, conflicted passions and lives destroyed by class hatred. With this novel, the author confirms his earlier promise as one of Sri Lanka`s most distinctive and talented new voices. Printed Pages: 400. Bookseller Inventory # 76461

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