The story of a family of the Tamoul diaspora through the eyes of a daughter trying to make sense of her life, her parents and her origins. This is a classic for a first novel, the quest for where we came from and trying to figure out where we are and where we are going. I didn't know much about Sri Lanka history, the Tamoul, the social upheavals, etc. It's also about someone not fitting into the country where she is born and not really connected to the place people assume she is from. The best part is the disconnection and the sorrow of the narrator who is very much aware of her not fitting in. Not American but raised the American way and removed from her family traditions, even beliefs. It's interesting, compelling, it has a voice, a flow for the reader to grab on to and be let through the lives of people, in my case, that I wanted to learn more about. As far as first novels go, it's a good one. It has problems : the structure of the narration doesn't always work, I got annoyed at the flashback but not really flashback trick really fast. But overall I enjoyed it.