Author: Aravind Adiga
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Book Description: Danny—formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life.
But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. The deed was done with a knife, at a creek he’d been to with her before; and a jacket was left at the scene, which he believes belongs to another of his clients—a doctor with whom Danny knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: Come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported? Or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of this day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities.
Propulsive, insightful, and full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, Amnesty is both a timeless moral struggle and a universal story with particular urgency today.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: I will start by saying that this is an extremely well written story. With all the talk of books and the immigrant stories, I beg you try this one. However there is one caveat, this is not the American immigrant story, this memorable story takes place in Australia where they have some of the more stricter immigration laws.
This is the story of Danny who is a cleaner in Australia trying to survive. He came there to escape Sri Lanka, but you will find out that he messed up royally by the method that he came into the country. He wants to seek asylum but because of that mistake he is pretty much screwed.
Towards the beginning of this story he realizes that one of his former clients was murdered and he is pretty sure he knows who did this. This begins a bizarre game of cat and mouse between Danny and who he suspects is the murderer.
Let me be very clear, this is not a psychological thriller, but it has that same feeling of you just don’t want to put it down. More than that, the author tells this heartbreaking story of a person, who is just trying to survive by fitting in and not crossing paths with the police. The author poses the moral question of right and wrong.
This was great read and I totally expect to see this on many awards lists.
Thank you NetGalley and Scribner for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.