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message 1: by Terrence (last edited Apr 21, 2017 11:14PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean Memories by Terrence Perera

Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean Memories by Terrence Perera

The book is a collection of autobiographical reminiscences of the author’s life, mainly in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The author has also lived in Australia, Zambia and Canada.

He came to Zimbabwe with his family in 1981 just after that country obtained independence. The book explores his personal experiences in Zimbabwe. It relates, particularly in the chapter, “The Mount Pleasant Sports Club”, of how the author overcame racial prejudices and formed intimate, lasting friendships with many of his White colleagues.

message 2: by Terrence (last edited Apr 21, 2017 11:16PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Hernando Villa A Sri Lankan Love Story by Terrence Perera

“Hernando Villa: A Sri Lankan Love Story” by Terrence Perera

The book is about the upper class Hernando family living at Goratuwa, a town in Sri Lanka. With this family as the central focus of the book, stories are also told of people connected to the Hernando family – their Tamil friends whom they saved during the 1983 race riots and their Sinhalese friends who had an inter-caste, inter-religious marriage.

The love story is between Nihal Hernando and Padma Rajaratnam. Padma is sent by her parents in Canada to Sri Lanka to get herself a suitable husband: a husband who is Jaffna-Tamil, high-caste and Hindu! Nihal’s parents want him to marry a Sinhala, Christian girl of the same caste as themselves.

The book deals with how both families initially vehemently oppose this love affair, but eventually give in and consent to the marriage.

message 3: by Terrence (last edited Apr 21, 2017 11:17PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Turmoil at the Villa by Terrence Perera

“Turmoil at the Villa” by Terrence Perera

“Turmoil at the Villa” is the sequel to “Hernando Villa”. The main theme of the book is that ancient old story of an upper-class boy falling in love with a lower-class girl. This theme is explored in an interesting manner in the context of Sri Lankan customs and attitudes. William, the younger brother, falls in love with a girl who the family regards as being far beneath them in social standing!

“Turmoil at the Villa” also deals with political intrigue and corruption in high places. Reshan Hernando, the head of the family, has long eschewed politics; but he is finally persuaded to contest a seat in Parliament and is subsequently appointed a Senior Cabinet Minister. He is a novice in this “dirty game of politics” and cannot see through the corruption and manoeuvrings that are taking place. When he finally does see what is going on and takes action, tragedy befalls the family.

message 4: by Terrence (last edited Apr 21, 2017 11:19PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Unsuitable Boys! by Terrence Perera

"Unsuitable Boys! by Terrence Perera

The novel commences as a delightful romantic comedy of errors where parents choose the wrong boys for their daughters and where the concept of arranged marriages in Sri Lanka is explored. Further, as a foil to these innocent young loves, there is the sordid affair of the uncle.

Nevertheless, the story takes a tragic turn when one parent, a powerful political figure, decides to terminate his daughter’s love affair by terminating the life of her lover!

The novel takes place in that sad period in Sri Lanka’s history where a “psychosis of fear” pervaded the country and disappearances, killings and abduction by “white vans” were the order of the day.

message 5: by Terrence (last edited Apr 21, 2017 11:21PM) (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Hernando Villa A Sri Lankan Love Story by Terrence Perera


5.0 out of 5 starsI'm Ready To Move to Hernando Villa!
By D.A. Wintsmith on May 29, 2016

I came to HERNANDO VILLA with no knowledge of Sri Lanka, Tamils, Sinhalese, or anything about their culture and history. I also came with an embarrassing tendency to confuse the name Sri Lanka with Shangri-La. So you can see the level of my complete ignorance. Still, HERNANDO VILLA was easily accessible to me as a reader.

The charming contemporary couple who own the Villa and their best friends seemed familiar to me, and I realized that I knew their counterparts here in the USA. There was a theme of family and couples humor throughout, set against the terrifying backdrop of recent racial violence, terrorist, and nature at her worst. The tendency in western literature is to write about dysfunctional families, and the Hernandos have their share of drama with secrets and meddling aunts and star-crossed lovers, but they go about it with class and style, and most importantly with concern for the human element of situations, which I have witnessed in everyday life but rarely see captured in books.

This is the kind of book one can go back to and live in for a while. The people are that pleasant, and yet not in the least dull. Well, not everyone is pleasant -- there is Aunt Margie who wants to rule the family but she gets her due, really more than her due finally. And there are the awful prospective husbands that the matchmaker keeps presenting to the families with eligible daughters. There is the racial bias that even families who are friends with people of different races and castes must deal with. And there is courage and heroism and tragedy. In short, it is life, captured in an easy read that makes you ponder without pontificating.

message 6: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (terrenceperera) | 19 comments Hernando Villa A Sri Lankan Love Story by Terrence Perera

Hernando Villa: A Review by Thulasi Muttulingam

The “Love Story” is between Nihal Hernando and Padma, the daughter of the Tamil family the Hernandos had rescued during the 1983 ethnic riots. That family had fled to Canada. But when it is time for Padma to marry, they send her back to Sri Lanka to find a “suitable boy” via the arranged marriage proposal system. They might be Canadian citizens now but they want Padma to marry a boy of their own race, religion and caste. Padma, who stays with her aunt in Wellawatte, is invited by the Hernandos to stay at their villa too, where she soon strikes up a friendship with Nihal and his sister Manel, who are close to her in age.

While the Hernandos and Rajanathans (Padma’s family) are close friends, both sets of families are horrified by the developing relationship between their son and daughter. It offends the notions of both the upper caste Sinhalese Christian parents as well as the upper caste Tamil Hindu parents. However, as befits educated parents of the 21st century, they bow to the inevitable (though not before various attempts to dissuade the two lovers), and accept the romance with grace.

The book is well crafted, with various threads being skillfully interwoven to give a colourful but real idea of Sri Lankan life, spanning different decades, cultures and societies. As if all that were not enough, Perera also manages to interweave aspects of the war, the race riots and the tsunami in, bringing to light different characters and how they were affected by it / acted through it.

For so ambitious an undertaking, there is nothing arduous in the book, either in the writing - or for the reader, in the reading. It is one of those “unputdownable” books that will keep the reader turning the pages to know what happened next. I read the book in one night.

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