A Time of Questions is the second volume of the quintet, Prison of Dreams, depicting the growth of the Tamil armed struggle in 1980s Sri Lanka. The five novels together describe the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic conflict, the hard choices faced by the minority communities subject to pogroms and oppressive laws, and the sufferings and exiles of simple villagers as the conflict finally flares up into a full-fledged and bloody civil war.
A Time of Questions explores the choices faced by Tamil youth in the face of a growing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. Rajalakshmi--married in all but sacred ritual to Suthan--faces two options: to remain in her beloved little island, Nainativu, or to seek refuge in India and join Suthan. At the same time, the insurgent movement for Tamil separation begins to fracture through internal differences and Suthan makes a decision that irrevocably alters his and Rajalakshmi's fates.