The Sandglass

With the same dreamlike, subdued, sinister voice that won him a Booker Prize nomination for his 1994 novel Reef, Romesh Gunesekera travels between 1950s Sri Lanka and present-day London, tracing the intertwined lives of two rival families, the Ducals and the Vatunas, through their rising and falling fortunes, death, and a mysterious disappearance. Although Gunesekera’s The Sandglass gracefully describes England’s snow (”white flakes…confused by some gust of wind”) and the lush hills of Sri Lanka (”green elephants slipping in to bathe in the sea”), he never relinquishes his menacing undertone. B+