The Boat People by Sharon Bala

The Boat People

When a rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees from Sri Lanka's bloody civil war reaches Vancouver's shores, the young father thinks he and his six-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 suic...


Details The Boat People

TitleThe Boat People
Author
Release DateJan 1st, 2018
PublisherDoubleday
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Cultural, Canada, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Adult, Social Movements, Social Justice, Adult Fiction, Literature
Rating

Reviews The Boat People

  • Angela M
    1970-01-01
    3.5 rounded up. This book tackles a difficult and timely topic based on a true event that occurred in Canada in 2010 with the arrival of a ship from Sri Lanka carrying nearly 500 refugees seeking asylum. This is an important story reflecting on an issue that is front and center right now in countries across the world. Through three alternating narratives, Sharon Bala gives us a view of the complexity of it all - the process, the red tape of the s...
  • Diane S ☔
    1970-01-01
    3.5 The refugee crisis has been prominent in many of our countries, the concern for safety of the current citizens, versus those who are looking for a safe place to land and start over. In this book a ship of Sri Lankan refugees , over five hundred, some women and children, but mainly men, seek sanctuary in Canada. How to rate a book with such a strong political message, where one learns so much about the process these refugees go through when en...
  • Esil
    1970-01-01
    3.5 stars. There are some risks involved in writing fiction based on real events. An author may take liberties for the sake of the story, but then the liberties can be distracting to the reader... The Boat People was mostly good with some distractions.The Boat People is based on the real story of a boat arriving on the shores of British Columbia in 2010 with around 500 Sri Lankans seeking refugee status: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Su.... ...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    1970-01-01
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.This is a fairly large book, but a surprisingly fast read and a deep tale of the horrors and woes that many refugees face, horrors so frequent that it's commonplace. The Boat People is ultimately about the futility that the witch hunt of the War on Terror ultimately equates to when it puts innocent people at risk. Set in Canada, it follows a man and his son, accused and arrested for the unthi...
  • Nancy
    1970-01-01
    We may have all come on different ships but we're in the same boat now. Martin Luther King Jr.Who leaves their home unless under duress? The place of one's nativity, where one's ancestors are buried, the house that contains so many memories are not given up lightly. To be a refugee, an immigrant, means to be cast off freewheeling into the unknown mists of the future, without mooring or a known destination.The Boat People is Sharon Bala's debut no...
  • Kate Olson
    1970-01-01
    There are certain books that enter into our lives for a purpose, and this is one of those books for me. This heartbreaking look at the refugee crisis in general, and specifically that of Sri Lankan refugees being detained in Canada, was an educationally rich experience for me, and one that pushed a critical issue back into the front of my mind. Through Bala's characters, readers are presented with complex philosophical and political issues in a t...
  • Patrice Hoffman
    1970-01-01
    The Boat People by Sharon Bala might best be reviewed after tonight's State of the Union address... The Boat People tells the story of immigration from three different viewpoints... VERY different viewpoints. There's no denying the political message behind this read, but instead of focusing there, I'll begin with a good ol' simple review. For me, the most prolific character was Mahindan. He arrives to Canada's shores with his 6 year old son with ...
  • Danielle Tremblay
    1970-01-01
    I received this novel by GoodReads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.I will not summarize this story, but you can read an excellent one written by Nancy here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...Warsan Shire, the British-Somali poet wrote:you have to understand,no one puts their children in a boatunless the water is safer than the land.Sharon Bala won the Journey Prize for her novel whose central portion takes place on the Pacific Oc...
  • Rachel Stansel
    1970-01-01
    The Boat People is the fictional story of one man and his son's experience fleeing Sri Lanka. In addition to his experience, we follow a young lawyer and one of the governmental employees assigned to determine who stays in Canada and who is to be deported. I knew nothing about the history of the Tamil people and the plight of those who attempted to flee not just to Canada but to Australia. In the looming fear of terrorism, the determination of wh...
  • Nora
    1970-01-01
    A truly beautiful book! I did not know much about the conflicts in Sri Lanka, apart from vaguely having heard of the Tamil Tigers growing up (it was a pretty big deal in when I lived in Norway, for obvious reasons, but I still didn't learn much about it). I was immensely moved by this book, with Bala's great writing making me heavily invested in the characters. A must-read for people living in Canada.
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    1970-01-01
    Absolutely beautifully written a look at the desperate lives of these refugees.who escape on boats& then must adjust to a new world full of racism daily dangers &threats of deportation a very timely read,
  • Linda
    1970-01-01
    I found The Boat People to be a truly timely and moving book. The story of a father's escape with his young son, having lost everything and every one, is heartfelt. Sadly, I had very little idea of the travesty that is the recent history of Sri Lanka. Thanks to the author's description, it was very easy to picture the devastating life under war time and to believe that most people, and certainly most parents, would go to any length to protect the...
  • Brittany
    1970-01-01
    Seriously? Thats how it ends??? I need like 50 more pages.But all jokes aside this book is beautifully written with a heart wrenching story that is relevant to today. The fact that a lot of this book is set in Vancouver, BC brings a familiar feeling to the story that I long for in books these days. I am no longer interested in books set in the US, I would rather read about my own country, and The Boat People really hits home that Canada has its o...
  • Laurie Burns
    1970-01-01
    Well, I think this is an important book.It's heavy and I had to read it slowly.I work with refugees so I might be biased but I found it hard to read.I wanted everyone to be allowed to stay.Sharon Bala takes a complex issue and really explores it very well.
  • Afoma Eme-Umesi
    1970-01-01
    Full review at http://www.afomaumesi.com/2018/01/09/...4.5 stars. There were many occasions throughout this book where it read like a five star novel. Bala’s book is akin to Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun in that it feels like homage to Sri Lanka and all the Tamil refugees. Her writing is in turns visceral, nostalgic and filled with wry humor. ARC received from Doubleday Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Dayna
    1970-01-01
    This was a goodreads win, and at first I wasn't too sure this would be a book that I would enjoy. Boy was I wrong! This novel is very well written and a nice easy read. I learned a lot from reading this book and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this.
  • KellI Preston
    1970-01-01
    A very timely and beautifully written story. Not knowing much about the war in Sri Lanka this was educational for me. It was heart wrenching to read what refugees must go through, not only in Canada but also here in the United States when they arrive on what they hope to be friendly soil. The main characters in this book were well drawn out so I really had a feel for what they were going through. Secondary characters not so much, but I guess that...
  • Susan Obryan
    1970-01-01
    Talk about a novel pertinent to today's issues! Sharon Bala has a created a novel with a plot that easily could have made the day's headlines. "The Boat People" follows various avenues after a rusty cargo ship carrying Sri Lanka refugees reaches Canadian shores. Mahindan, a single parent with his 6-year-old son are among the 500 on board who are hoping to build a new life for themselves. The refugees are housed in a prison as lawyers, government ...
  • Kathleen Gray
    1970-01-01
    A wonderfully written thoughtful book that gives insight not only into a refugee crisis but also to the people who must deal with the challenges once those refugees reach, in this case, Canada. This is especially interesting because it focuses on Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, a country and a movement which have received less attention in the US than in Canada. Mahindan seeks nothing more than hope and a new life for himself and his son but find...
  • Prcs Rambharose
    1970-01-01
    This book is due out on Jan 9th 2018,This was another Arc I was lucky enough to win . This novel Is broadly based on the Sri Lankan refugees who arrived In BC in 2010.... when reading this story one become's emotionally involved with the main Characters, and the people he meets along the way who try to help him stay In Canada.......This story is heart wrenching and really makes you think about the on going current refugee situation In this Countr...
  • Jen Boucher
    1970-01-01
    While it may be dangerous to use fiction in this way, I feel better for having had what I’m deeming to be a pseudo-crash course in the Sri Lankan civil war, and in the experience of refugees arriving in Canada. I really appreciated all the different perspectives that the narrative took, from the refugees themselves, to the immigration lawyers handling their attempted entry into Canada, and the adjudicator who decides their fate. It got me right...
  • Nicole
    1970-01-01
    A very powerful book about difficult choices and their consequences. I loved the way the point-of-view characters and their families give us a myriad of glimpses into immigration experiences from different generations and countries. The point-of-view switches are used beautifully. It's jarring to be in the head of one character and then see them coming across so differently when another character encounters them, but it really illustrates the way...
  • Amy
    1970-01-01
    I loved this book. It is a well researched story that delves deeply into the dark grey area of refugees and human behaviour. I enjoyed the depth given to characters, showing their triumphs and flaws equally. I really liked the Kumi character and what she brought to the story. It added another layer of emotion to sort through. This book left me thinking. The ending is perfect for the book and left me longing for more.
  • Kalen
    1970-01-01
    A strong book to end the reading year. Well done debut, told in three different voices. Don't read the Kirkus review if you don't want to know how it ends BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY READ IT. (I read the review after I finished it but am irritated nonetheless.)It is easy to dismiss refugees when you don't know them. This book sheds some light on their--and our--humanity.
  • Melissa
    1970-01-01
    Beautifully written.
  • Rachel Stansel
    1970-01-01
    The Boat People is the fictional story of one man and his son's experience fleeing Sri Lanka. In addition to his experience, we follow a young lawyer and one of the governmental employees assigned to determine who stays in Canada and who is to be deported. I knew nothing about the history of the Tamil people and the plight of those who attempted to flee not just to Canada but to Australia. In the looming fear of terrorism, the determination of wh...
  • Rachel
    1970-01-01
    Sharon Bala artfully intertwines multiple narratives from the past and present in this heartbreaking tale of immigration, identity, and persecution. When a large group of Tamil refugees arrives off the coast of Canada they expect to finally find peace and safety. Instead, they are whisked away to detention centers to be held until their claims for refugee status can be either accepted or denied. This is especially troubling for Mahindan, a single...