Anil’s Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje

In Anil’s Ghost, the celebrated Sri Lankan author of The English Patient takes us on a troubled journey through a paradise racked by civil turmoil – his homeland.
Presented through the eyes of the novel’s heroine, Anil Tissera, a forensic anthropologist who returns as part of a United Nations investigation team to a Sri Lanka she left 15 years earlier, the terrifying consequences of civil war unfold over the course of the novel.

In an atmosphere charged with suspicion and fear, Anil tries to uncover the identity of a single skeleton discovered in the archaeological ruins of Bandarawela caves, in the hopes that the trail will lead her to the truth about the growing number of human remains that are coming to light.

Beautiful descriptions of Sri Lanka infused with its political history provide a deeper insight into this troubled island. The only negative for me is the lack of humour in the novel. Although its subject matter is of the gravest (lit) nature, Sri Lankan people have an amazing resilience and strength of character which comes from their honed sense of humour, it is their sword and their shield.

Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+

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