Whisperings


Poetry - General
38 Pages
Reviewed on 08/13/2013
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gail Sosinsky Wickman for Readers' Favorite

Shanil Samarakoon's book Whisperings is a collection of poems recounting events in his life in Africa and Sri Lanka. The poems deal both with personal feelings and social justice issues. All proceeds from the book are being donated to Empower, Inc., an Australian-registered social justice organization that Samarakoon was inspired to form after the devastating tsunami of 2004.

The poems in Whisperings touch on some of the difficult personal politics of providing aid in Africa. In "The Naïve Aid Worker," Samarakoon touches on the less noble aspects of each party -- the aid worker acting out of guilt and the refugee just looking for someone to blame -- but ends the poem with a call to mutual aid and self responsibility. In "The Spill," he describes a death by violence, but uses it as an opportunity for self-reflection: "I dream of an end to our slavery to self, /When my reflection doesn't disgust me so. /Then I am beautiful though it matters not. /Then I am strong, for good reason." "Lament" contains a perceptive comment on the problem of "liberators": "Freedom was won at the end of a gun, /Now the gun oversees the freedom we won."

The poems will appeal to people who like rhymed stanzas and concept over image. I would have liked to see more specific details that recreated the places Samarakoon has lived, but perhaps those will be the focus of future poems. Shanil Samarakoon's Whisperings is a worthwhile look at a part of the world that is too often ignored.