Behind an apparent account of lives of comfortable families in Colombo, there is the brooding presence of religious tensions, ancient jealousies, political machinations and wilfully destructive forces. Family and class differences are well observed through the eyes of a developing, gay, adolescent who also describes normal everyday life. The school, still redolent of the British past ,is convincingly portrayed. The lives of families where servants are the norm is fascinating for us who live without them.
The irruption of the brooding outside forces, which destroy the families, are shown with all their cruelties. The dark side of Sri Lanka is revealed to the tourist who dreams only of Serendipity, smiling courtesy and fabulous beaches.