One of the best novels I've read in English!
The 'chronicle' starts with an intensely sexual narrative and develops into a thoroughly detailed account of the Burgher community of Sri Lanka from the 1930s to the 1980s. Their history, culture, festivals, food, wedding, funeral, day-to-day life... it's all told through a juicy tale of three generations of a family.
Kids elope, some are gays and lesbians, some perpetually drunk uncles routinely get into trouble, some become religious lunatics, the baby-factories: aka wives go on to have 15 children, some of which are definitely not their husbands', their own kids grow into adolescence and experiment with sex, Japanese planes bomb the Angoda Mental Hospital, finally most Burghers leave to UK and Australia and the rest stay and mingle with the rest of the races... It's so amazing to read through all this.
I seriously love his style. He is super-honest and straightforward. The descriptions of burgher recipes (are all these lost today? Where can we taste them?), his pacing with the words, the sense of humour... It's all perfect.