Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka, Adele Barker

An Italian named Marignolli was the first European tourist to be robbed in Ceylon. In the mid-fourteenth century, he was on his way back to Florence from China with the various treasures he had amassed. Blown off course, his ship landed in Seyllan (Ceylon), where it fell into the hands of a devious Saracen robber who proceeded to strip him of all the finery he was bringing back from China. Apart from that incident, Marignolli found the island quite to his liking. 

Shortly after 9/11, Adele Barker and her son Noah moved to Sri Lanka for 18 months (she was teaching there.) They experienced the cultural and natural elements of this wonderful country. I really hope to travel to Sri Lanka some day. In any case, they experienced Sri Lanka's customs, cultures and various landscapes. However, in December 2004, when a terrible tsunami struck southeast Asia, Adele Barker decided that she had to go back. That's the not quite paradise part. Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country, but so many human tragedies have occurred there, including the long, bloody civil war and the uprisings before it. Barker chronicles how she hears locals tell about their experiences during the uprisings as well.

One thing I enjoyed about the book was that Barker not only included her own experiences living in Sri Lanka, but she also included some of its history (as you can see from the first few sentences.) I found the mix of history and personal experience quite interesting and effective.

Read Not Quite Paradise:

  • if you like travel books
  • if you are interested in Sri Lanka
300 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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