Opening dramatically with the horrors of the 2005 London bombings, this is the profoundly moving story of a country on the brink of civil war and a child's struggle to come to terms with loss.
London. On a bright July morning a series of bombs bring the capital to a halt. Simon Swann, a medic from one of the large teaching hospitals, is searching frantically amongst the chaos and the rubble. All around police sirens and ambulances are screaming but Simon does not hear. He is out of breath because he has been running, and he is distraught. But who is he looking for?
To find out we have first to go back thirty years to a small island in the Indian Ocean where a little girl named Alice Fonseka is learning to ride a bicycle on the beach. The island is Sri Lanka, with its community on the brink of civil war. Alice's life is about to change forever. Soon she will have to leave for England, abandoning her beloved grandfather, and accompanied by her mother Sita, a woman broken by a series of terrible events.
In London, Alice grows into womanhood. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she has a son. Slowly she fulfils her grandfather's prophecy and becomes an artist. Eventually she finds true love. But London in the twenty first century is a mass of migration and suspicion. The war on terror has begun and everyone, even Simon Swann, middle class, rational, medic that he is, will be caught up in this war in the most unexpected and terrible way.
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'Prose so lush it appeals to every sense, the pages are suffused with the scents and tastes, ring with the sounds of Sri Lanka and South London… Roma Tearne is an exquisite writer and captivating storyteller, such that the reader is endlessly torn between the desire to linger and the urge to turn the page to see where she will take us next.' Aminatta Forna
'A GREAT STAIN ON SRI LANKA: The shelling may have stopped but persecution continues. Our beautiful, lost island needs help.' Guardian
'An absorbing novel' Source Magazine
Praise for Mosquito:
‘“Mosquito” plays with sensuous mixes of human bestiality and natural beauty…It is in this continuing agency of remembered love – presented as the colours, sounds and smells of art, in dialogue with beauty and horror – that the uplifting politics of this fine novel lies.’ Independent
‘Heart-rending…Readers of this powerful novel cannot fail to be moved…but they will also realise that, as well as being a rebuke to indifference, the book is also about hope and survival.’ Christopher Ondaatje, Spectator
‘“Mosquito” lyrically captures a country drenched in both incomparable beauty and the stink of hatred.’ Guardian
‘Tearne brings her skills as a painter to her writing, creating some extraordinarily lovely portraits of Sri Lankan land and seascapes, a stunning backdrop to the changing horrors of the country’s 20-year civil war. Anyone who has visited, or has a passing interest in Sri Lanka, should read this beautiful novel.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘“Mosquito” is a complex, ambitious book from a writer with a real talent for language. We will be hearing a great deal about Ms. Tearne in the future.’ Lauren B. Davis, author of ‘The Stubborn Season’ and ‘The Radiant City’
‘There are some beautiful passages in “Mosquito”…These flashes of true beauty, along with an impressively sustained forward drive, are enough to make “Mosquito” an engaging and thought-provoking novel.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Anyone who has a passing interest in Sri Lanka should read this beautiful novel.’ Sunday TelegraphAbout the Author:
Roma Tearne fled Sri Lanka at the age of ten, travelling to Britain where she has spent most of her life. She gained her Master's degree at the Ruskin Shool of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, and was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She was recently awarded a fellowship in the visual arts by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain. She lives and works in Oxford.
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Book Description HarperPress, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007301545