Reef is a novel. It was written by a Sri Lankan-British author Romesh Gunesekera, and it was published in 1994. The book is set in Sri Lanka and tells the story of a young boy named Triton who becomes a houseboy for a marine biologist named Mister Salgado.
Triton is an orphan who is taken in by Mister Salgado and becomes his apprentice, learning about marine biology and becoming an expert cook. Mister Salgado is an eccentric and sometimes difficult employer, but Triton is devoted to him and his work.
As Triton grows older, he begins to question his place in the world and his relationship with Mister Salgado. He becomes aware of the political turmoil in Sri Lanka and begins to see the differences between himself and Mister Salgado, who is part of the privileged elite. Triton also becomes infatuated with a houseguest named Nili, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who complicates his life.
The novel explores themes of class, identity, and the relationship between individuals and the larger world. It also offers a vivid portrayal of life in Sri Lanka, with its natural beauty, political unrest, and cultural richness.
Gunesekera's writing is notable for its poetic and lyrical style, as well as its evocative descriptions of the Sri Lankan landscape and people. The novel is also notable for its exploration of the power dynamics between Triton and Mister Salgado, as well as the role of colonialism and post-colonialism in shaping Sri Lankan society.
Reef is a moving and beautifully written novel that explores complex themes in a nuanced and thoughtful way. It offers a powerful portrayal of Sri Lankan life and culture, as well as an insightful examination of the relationships between individuals and the larger world. It is a book that is well worth reading for anyone interested in literature, culture, or politics.