The plot is situated in twentieth-century Sri Lanka. Th e protagonist is a Sri Lankan woman of a mixed racial origin (Eurasian) who grew up as an orphan at a time when the island was transitioning from colonial rule to independence. Her background, her marriage, and later her change of religious identity represent a slice of the emerging ethnic complexity on the island. She not only witnesses close-up the tragedies that occur in independent Sri Lanka in the form of Janatha Vimukti Perumuna (Jvp) uprisings in the early 1970s and 1980s, the Sri Lankan government's brutal suppression of them, the terrible ethnic riots of the Sinhalese against the Tamils, and the rise of the Liberation Tamil Tiger Eelam (Ltte) and their terror tactics, but she also experiences other struggles coinciding with the political fate of the nation and its own self-infl icted calamities. Th is makes the aim of the book somewhat ambitious, as it intentionally sets out to be a personal witness to issues of colonization, the constitutional fl aws of an emerging nation, power-mongering politics, racial and ethnic tensions, emergent religious/political identities, and gender discrimination.
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