(2 customer reviews)




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Author: Saraid de Silva
Format: Paperback
Publication date: 26/03/2024
Imprint: MOA PRESS
ISBN: 9781869715403

‘I couldn’t put it down – a moving, heartbreaking (and repairing) family drama. The writing is gorgeous, transporting, powerful: this will be one of the big adult novels of the year’ The Spinoff

‘In Amma, the past is never far away – it binds three generations of remarkable women, each juggling their own desires and secrets with the expectations placed on them by tradition and the volatile environments they find themselves in … A book as shocking and revelatory as any family secret, Amma will leave you shaken and reminded of the power of love and loyalty’ Chris Tse, New Zealand Poet Laureate

Singapore, 1951

When Josephina is a girl, her parents lock her in a room with the father of the boy to whom she’s betrothed. What happens next will determine the lives of generations to come.

New Zealand, 1984

Josephina and her family leave Sri Lanka for New Zealand. But their new home is not what they expected, and for the children, Sithara and Suri, a sudden and shocking event changes everything.

London, 2018

Arriving on her uncle Suri’s doorstep, jetlagged and heartbroken, Annie has no idea what to expect – all she knows is that Suri was cast out of the family before she was born.

Moving between cities and generations, Amma follows three women on very different paths, against a backdrop of shifting cultures. As circumstance and misunderstanding force them apart, it will take the most profound love to knit them back together before it’s too late.

‘I can’t remember the last time a book held me captive the way Amma did… the power of memory, of perspective, pain and love in all its different forms through the eyes of three unforgettable women’ Ore Agbaje-Williams

Additional information

Weight 300 g

2 reviews for Amma

  1. Anna, Hedley’s Books

    Everyone in the book world is excited about this debut New Zealand novel, and I can see why. I absolutely loved it.

    Amma jumps between the lives of three generations of women from one family each one struggling with their own challenges around identity, culture and family. I found every chapter intensely gripping and the language beautiful.

    While being a very different story, the style has shades of Greta & Valdin. So if you loved that, then this is a must-read!

  2. Sue Reid, Read by Reid

    Three generations – Josephina, Sithara then Annie. From Singapore to Sri Lanka, Invercargill, London and final rest and resolve in Melbourne. A journey across cultures, that which is familiar…a homely place of belonging. Each woman must make sense of a violence inflicted – cruelty that defies human acceptance. It is this trans-generational pain that makes Amma hard to read but each page challenges you to push on.

    So many questions and so much to unpack to make sense of Josephina, Sithara and Annie’s lived experience. A dear, vulnerable son, brother and uncle Suri brings the golden thread that pulls this challenging tale together.

    Amma is like a forced look into a mirror to understand how silence can harm, unspoken words can breed misunderstanding and an inability to reassure the next generation can fester brokenness.

    There’s so much I wrestled with throughout the pages – it was an assault of decent senses and the horrors of innocent people harmed. There are more questions than answers that have left me thinking about long after I turned the last page. To say ‘why’ doesn’t suffice – but you’re reminded that we are all in need of that which is familiar to us… a safe harbour and ultimately the bonds of kinship to withstand – to bend not break.

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