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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Labyrinth of My Life by Kay Alahakoon is a slice-of-life romance novel set in Sri Lanka that follows the story of Sakunthala (Saku), a young university lecturer trapped between modern ideologies and her traditionally conservative family. Saku's humdrum life takes an unexpected turn with the return of her childhood friend, Niranga, now a handsome ladies' man with a successful career. Despite having feelings for the man, Saku struggles to find it in herself to forgive him as she has a misplaced grudge because Niranga had a fling with her sister when they were teenagers, a fact that may or may not be true. Complicating matters further is her current boyfriend, Sula, her business partner and one of her closest friends. Can Saku learn to let go and listen to her heart?
Author Kay Alahakoon touches upon some serious issues in this contemporary romance tale, briefly examining the significance of topics that are still considered taboo in mainstream Sri Lankan society, such as same-sex relationships, abortion, and fornication. The Labyrinth of My Life showcases how sometimes people are their own worst enemies as their self-destructive behavior threatens to destroy their most important relationships. This is a character-driven story, and as such, the pacing is deliberately slow. The characters are well-developed, and the author does a commendable job of immersing the reader in Sri Lankan culture. Saku and Niranga's relationship forms the bedrock of the narrative. The way their dynamic evolves throughout the story was one of the highlights of the book. Recommended to fans of romance.