A biracial main character. And even better, a main character that’s biracial and a quarter Sri Lankan descent. This is the closest I’ve ever got to reading about a main character that is similar to me. Disclaimer: I am a quarter Sinhalese Malaysian, so not exactly the same ethnicity.
Anusha of Prospect Corner is inspired by Anne of Green Gables. How could I not want to read it? I loved the series when I was younger.
The two main characters are Anusha and her mother Pramila; Anusha is a quarter Sri Lankan American and her mother is half Sri Lankan American. It’s an #ownvoices book, as one of the authors is half Sri Lankan American and two of the authors are a quarter Sri Lankan American.
Now you know my reasons for choosing this book, let’s get to the reviewing!
I had such a weird feeling while reading this book, as I was actually able to relate to some of the experiences that Anusha and Pramila had. I’ve never been represented like this before, so it took me a long time to get used to it. People not knowing where Sri Lanka is; people asking where I’m originally from; and the mispronounciation of my name (even though my name is Irish) – these are all things that have actually happened to me.
One of the characters in the book has divorced parents. In my opinion, this situation was well-written and continued throughout the whole story.
There are so many different diverse characters in the book. Anusha and her family are of Sri Lankan descent, Dee has Trinidadian descent and Gavin is described as having brown skin. A lesbian couple is casually mentioned. A lot of books are still filled with white, heterosexual characters – it was lovely to read a Middle Grade book that didn’t stick to the usual.
Anusha has red hair and is a quarter Sri Lankan American. It’s interesting to read about her relationship to her hair colour and how this is influenced by her heritage. I can relate to how weird it is to have a feature that people do not expect a multiracial person to have (in my case, green eyes not red hair).
What I absolutely loved about the story was that it was inspired by Anne of Green Gables and not the same story. At the beginning, I thought it would be the same just with Sri Lankan American influences, which was rather confusing. However, after realising that it wouldn’t, I was able to ease into the story.
If there were any white people in the book, they were not described as being white. I’m however assuming there were some. The skin colour of white people is almost never mentioned in books, which I think allows readers to assume that white is the norm. Thus, I would have prefered it, if these characters were directly described as being white.
Most of these descriptions were only mentioned in passing. I wasn’t sure what I thought of this. I’m leaning towards wishing that it would have been more direct on the whole.
This is a personal issue that I have with Pramila and not criticism of the way the character was wirtten. Pramila is only described as being half Sri Lankan American, the other half is not mentioned. As a multiracial person, I know that most people only want to know which non-white ethnicity/ethnicities a multiracial person has and don’t care whether they might have Caucasian ethnicity. Therefore, I would have prefered it if Pramila’s complete ethnicity had been described.
All in all
It may seem like I had quite a few issues with the book but overall I enjoyed the book. It could have been a bit longer and more detailed. Nevertheless, it was worth reading. Some of the scenes were so relatable, I felt like I was reading about my own life. It feels great to be represented!
How often have you read a book in which you feel like you have been represented? Have you read Anusha of Prospect Corner? Would you like to read it?