Morris County Book Club February Meetup
jeu. 21 février 2019 à 00:30
THE BOAT PEOPLE
by Sharon Bala
Fiction; 338pp. “The Boat People” tackles a timely topic based on a true event that occurred in 2010 in Canada with the arrival of a merchant vessel carrying hundreds of Sri Lankan refugees seeking asylum. This novel reflects on an important issue that is front and center right now in countries around the world. When a rusty cargo ship carrying refugees from Sri Lanka’s Civil War reaches Vancouver’s shores, Mahindan thinks that he and his 6-year-old son can finally start a new life. Instead, the group is thrown into a detention processing center, with government officials and news headlines speculating that among the “boat people” are members of a separatist militant organization responsible for countless suicide attacks—and that these terrorists now pose a threat to Canada’s national security. As the refugees become subject to heavy interrogation, Mahindan begins to fear that a desperate act taken in Sri Lanka to fund their escape may now jeopardize his and his son’s chance for asylum. Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer, Priya, a second-generation Sri Lankan Canadian who reluctantly represents the refugees; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan’s fate as evidence mounts against him, “The Boat People” is a timely novel that provokes a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Follow us on Facebook!
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