The Labyrinth of My Life


Romance - Contemporary
334 Pages
Reviewed on 12/05/2021
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Author Biography

Kay Alahakoon has been writing in her youth, writing poems and romantic stories in the vernacular. Her dream to become a writer got pushed to the side-line when she became a corporate employee, working for some international and local corporate giants. However, when her mother passed away in late 2019, she no longer could muffle her inner cries to share her stories. As she learned to love books from her mother, for Kay, sharing her stories with the world was the best way to honour the woman she loved so much.
When she isn't writing, Kay likes to indulge in books of her favourite authors or go on long bushwalks with her husband and her friends. She lives in Sydney with her husband.

    Book Review

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.

Jennifer Ibiam

The Labyrinth of My Life by Kay Alahakoon is a Sri Lanka-based story set between the 1980s and 1990s. Holidays were always fun for Saku because she would travel down from Kandy to visit her family. But this time, it was a double reunion as the past came calling. The Seneges were back with their son, Niranga, after a decade of living in Australia. Niranga and Saku were childhood friends, thick as thieves, and created a strong bond between their families. When Niranga tried to rekindle their relationship, Saku refused. She still nursed the hurt from over a decade ago, among other reasons. Or did she misunderstand? With parents wishing, friends waiting, a stubborn damsel, and a confident prince, what will it be? Will Saku continue to self-sabotage?

The Labyrinth of My Life by Kay Alahakoon is a beautiful novel centered on family, culture, self-discovery, and romance. I loved the unique storyline and brilliant plot, for they had depth. The writing style and character development were also stellar. I felt Kay could write an independent story about each character because they were fleshed-out, consistent, and memorable. Saku was a walking contradiction, and it was exhausting. However, her flawed nature, plus many redeeming qualities, made the character lively and realistic. I related more to Niranga because he mirrored my personality. Niranga was my best character in the book. Raju and Jeevani got on my nerves by having more kids than they could raise. I hope Nilush and Saman get their Karma. Manoj was so blessed to have many good people and opportunities in his life. This novel was such a wholesome read. Please, write more, Kay.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

The Labyrinth of My Life, author Kay Alahakoon’s debut novel, narrates Sakunthala’s story. As an accomplished, independent woman in her late twenties, Saku puts her family’s wellbeing before her own. She spends her days juggling three jobs, keeping their tour agency afloat, and shuttling between her workplace and family home. However, the sudden arrival of Niranga, her neighbor, childhood best friend, and old flame throws her life off course. Although they used to be inseparable in the past, Saku is now determined to keep him at a distance. Yet, she cannot deny the pull Niranga has on her, nor can she overlook his gentle charm and caring personality. What is the reason behind Saku’s feigned disinterest? Can she keep avoiding her childhood love forever, especially when he is bent on winning her back?

Although the novel belongs primarily to the romance genre, it has so much more to offer! kay Alahakoon’s authentic portrayal of the rich Sri Lankan culture made the read worthwhile. As an Indian girl close to Sakunthala’s age, I could relate to her struggles to balance her career and her family. I rooted for Saku and wanted to assure her that her insecurities were baseless. While reading, the similarities in our cultures and family values made me feel at home. As for the romantic aspect, there were no mushy romantic gestures, nor did the novel go for explicit scenes. The complicated feelings and past baggage of the principal characters dominated their emotions. Alahakoon perfectly captured their dilemma in her writing. Boasting a swoon-worthy hero and a strong-minded heroine, The Labyrinth of My Life would be a treat for romance lovers!