Now in paperback, “an achingly gorgeous heartbreaker” about the families on one street during the buildup to Sri Lanka’s civil war (The Boston Globe)
On Sal Mal Lane
- "I don't know that I've seen children more opulently depicted in fiction since Dickens. . . . The novel soars [with] its sensory beauty, language and humor."—The New York Times Book Review
On the day the Herath family moves in, Sal Mal Lane is still a quiet street, disturbed only by the cries of the children whose triumphs and tragedies sustain the families that live there. As the neighbors adapt to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. But the tremors of civil war are mounting, and the conflict threatens to engulf them all. In a heart-rending novel poised between the past and the future, the innocence of the children—a beloved sister and her over-protective siblings, a rejected son and his twin sisters, two very different brothers—contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. In Ru Freeman’s masterful hands, On Sal Mal Lane, a story of what was lost to a country and her people, becomes a resounding cry for reconciliation.
- "Freeman's powerful second novel focuses on ordinary children living their lives as war clouds build."—People, "Great Reads"
- "The menacing backdrop of inevitable war illuminates Freeman's depiction of childhood innocence and everyday life in this well-written, heart-wrenching novel."—USA Today
- "This is a brilliant, beautiful and crushing story about childhood, its kindness, comforts, misunderstandings and shifting allegiances, and also about the end of childhood."—MORE Magazine
- "[Freeman's] individual characters are nuanced and richly written—you wish you could stay on their peaceful lane forever, but of course you can't, and neither can they."—Oprah.com, "Book of the Week"
This book is made possible through a partnership with the College of St. Benedict, and honors the legacy of S. Mariella Gable, a distinguished teacher at the college.