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Sharon Bala

Forfatter af The Boat People

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Værker af Sharon Bala

The Boat People (2018) 255 eksemplarer

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Kort biografi
IIn her past lives, she worked in PR, event planning, and enjoyed a brief stint as a British housewife. Today, she earns her bread with words. She's available to write articles and essays, adjudicate competitions, for readings, manuscript evaluations, and editorial aid.

Sharon was born in Dubai, raised in the 905, and now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland with her husband, the mathematician Tom Baird.n 2017, she won the Journey Prize and had a second story long-listed in the anthology. A three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador's Arts and Letters award, she has stories published in Hazlitt, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, Riddle Fence, Room, Prism international, The New Quarterly, Journey Prize 29, and in an anthology called Racket: New Writing From Newfoundland (Breakwater Books, Fall 2015).



This was a Goodreads Giveaway. I found it difficult to get into this book in the first 50 pages or so and was going to put aside when I decided to keep reading. I am very happy I kept reading - although the beginning seem a bit fragmented to me, the rest of the book was well-written and I found myself
empathizing with some of the characters (although not all). There were sections in the book that described minor characters (such as the ones in prison) that I found a bit stereotypical. Some part of me also wishes the ending was a bit different . Yes - it was a hopeful ending- but being a mother, I felt for the son and would have liked it to have ended differently. This is of course preference and not a criticism of the book. Also - having lived in Tamil Nadu - I enjoyed a lot of the language and descriptions. Overall - I would recommend this book and would like to read future novels by this writer.… (mere)
Bambean | 22 andre anmeldelser | May 20, 2024 |
BooksInMirror | 22 andre anmeldelser | Feb 19, 2024 |
“Did she now know what it was like to have so little agency? To be faced with such cruel options it was as if there was no choice at all?”
― Sharon Bala, The Boat People

My Review:

Before I even start, I must comment on the exquisite cover art, which is beautiful and perfect for the story itself.

The Boat People is not for the faint of heart, which I kind of am. Though I read many a dark book, this one I had reservations about reading due to what I figured would be the heart breaking content and the anger the book might inspire.

Immigration is a topic that never loses its relevancy and in this book we meet a group of refugees, fleeing from Sri Lanka to Canada. There are over five hundred of them and they arrive by boat. They are seeking new lives, arriving from a war torn country and dreaming of how it will be in a new, more welcoming country.

Except they are not welcomed. Instead, they are jailed. And there are child separations, deportation hearings and the questions begin to sweep the media and all the country. Are these people REALLY refugees? Or are they....terrorists?

So I went into this quite apprehensive. While I enjoyed the story, I did not fall in love with it although I'd be the first to recommended it as it is both interesting and deeply educational.

And indeed it does spark those feelings of anger..and bewilderment for the treatment of these fellow human beings. I also learned alot as I'd not known much of this is a work of fiction but is based on a true story to an extent.

That being said, I found it very hard to follow. The writing is beautiful but also intricate and complicated. There were a bit to many characters for me and I felt it (the book) was a bit overly long. I neither disliked it or fell in love with it. Which surprised me as I was expecting one or the other.

And to be honest..and as others have said...the character of Mahindan was such a compelling one and his story told so powerfully that he was really the main focus of my attention. I found myself impatiently flipping to get back to his story. His fate...and the fate of his six year old son....meant something to me and I really found his story pretty much outshined literally everything else in the book.

The Boat People would make a great Book club read. In the last four years in America, since Trump was in office (feels good to say WAS!!) we have all seen the dehumanization of the immigrant community and the objectifying of human beings and its been painful. Maybe that is why I was not riveted. We've been living it here in America for so long.

But I'd no idea these issues were so prevalent in Canada so I learned something new!


I was OK with the end although I realize others felt cheated. It seems vague endings are all the rage now. I felt strongly that it was implied Mahindan was able to stay in Canada. I would have liked the ending to be fleshed out a bit more but I was OK with it.

I would indeed recommend this book and am glad I checked it out at last! 3.5 stars from me.
… (mere)
Thebeautifulsea | 22 andre anmeldelser | Aug 4, 2022 |
On August 13, 2010 the MV Sun Sea landed in Victoria with 492 Tamil refugees on board. This book is a fictionalized rendering of the aftermath. Manages to convey the Civil War in Sri Lanka and the tensions of the characters very well. Made me feel blessed that I never had to experience something like that.
charlie68 | 22 andre anmeldelser | May 31, 2022 |



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