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Bone China Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description


'This beautifully written account of a family in freefall addresses the experiences of victims of war and immigration, while acknowledging the love that exists within the family.' WBQ,

‘Tearne's second novel also deftly reveals the corrosive effects of civil strife on private lives and the receptiveness of art, though in the more conventional, if highly readable, form of a family saga over four generations that turns midway into a migrants' tale. Probing loss and memory amid violence and displacement, her novels have affinities with Romesh Gunesekera's groundbreaking fiction.' The Guardian

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

‘Lovely, vividly described.’ The Times

‘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’

More praise for ‘Mosquito’:

‘“Mosquito” is a beautifully moving, suspense-filled story about unlikely lovers that’s gripping from start to finish. Set in Sri Lanka, it tells of a bittersweet romance between a young artist and a writer, a relationship that slowly becomes entangled in the mess of the local civil war. Tearne’s ethereal descriptions of the Sri Lankan coastline and the powerful accounts of a country ripped apart by violence make for an emotional and exceptional novel.’ Easy Living Magazine

‘Beautiful and evocative… The true horror and unreason of terrorism as depicted here speak to our own worst fears and remind us that terrorism has been with us in many guises and many places for a much longer time than we tend to remember… Gripping and original.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘“Mosquito” shimmers with evocative prose but it also resonates with the darkness of men’s cruelty. This is not a thriller, but the tension is palpable. Don’t be surprised if the film rights are snapped up quickly.’ The Courier Mail (Australia)

‘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


'Probing loss and memory amid violence and displacement, her novels have affinities with Romesh Gunesekera's groundbreaking fiction.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 504 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI99S2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,118 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Roma Tearne arrived with her parents in Britain from Sri Lanka at the age of ten and trained as a painter, completing her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. For nearly twenty years her work as a painter, installation artist, filmmaker and novelist has dealt with traces of history and memory in public and private spaces.

Roma's first novel, 'Mosquito', was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award. She is married with three children and lives in Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Book Addict TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 July 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From 1939, when the first world war affects a Ceylon still under British Crown Rule, through the country's struggling independence, its resulting race wars and mass emigration to an England believed to offer a safer, better way of life; "Bone China" is a sweeping saga detailing the struggle of the once affluent de Silva family.

Grace de Silva, the beautiful matriarch of the family watches her family splinter apart as she faces her own personal heartbreaks. Her husband Aloysius is an alcoholic seemingly intent on squandering away her family inheritance; whilst her children struggle to adapt to the changes in their own lives. Eldest daughter and talented pianist Alicia is on the brink of dominating the musical world until her beloved husband Sunil is shot. While she is overcome by her grief, her brothers, Jacob, Christopher and Thornton one by one leave the escalating troubles of Ceylon for lives in England, yet their futures are not what they anticipate. Left behind, it is their quiet sister Frieda who chooses to remain and keep their heritage alive.

In England, the utterly handsome Thornton remains besotted by his equally stunning daughter Anna-Meeka; yet as memories of Ceylon fade, Meeka wants to be like all the children she mixes with and begins to resent her family's differences. This head strong young girl is soon a stranger to her parents; especially her father who wants her to set aside her love of music and study hard to become a doctor. Meeka though has no intention of following the grand dreams her father has for her.

This is a beautiful story, beautifully written by author Roma Tearne and certainly an epic story that sweeps through the lives of four generations of the de Silva family as the majority come to grips with a new country and a vastly different culture. "Bone China" is not something that I would normally look for or even purchase; however I am so pleased that the Vine programme has expanded my horizons.
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Format: Hardcover
Sri Lankan-born artist-writer Roma Tearne, who left her native country when she was ten, revisits the years leading up to the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983 - 2009) and its effects on families in her second novel, Bone China. In this novel, she is more interested in family issues than in politics, focusing on the lives of a Tamil Catholic family as it faces the inevitabilities of violence and warfare on their small island nation. Opening in 1939, the novel recreates the British raj in the era leading up to World War II, when Aloysius de Silva, his wife Grace, and their five children owned and lived on a large plantation, favorites of their British administrators.

When the British decide to leave Ceylon, however, the family moves to their "other house" near the sea in Colombo. Here they and their children come to symbolize the various movements competing for attention in the small island country in the years immediately after World War II, movements which eventually result in violence. Though the de Silvas are Tamil, with Sinhalese ties, it quickly becomes obvious to them that "There is something wrong with a country that will not unite." For some family members, escape to England offers their only hope, while matriarch Grace, in Colombo, tries to keep the remaining family safe in Sri Lanka.

Tearne creates a vibrant family saga involving all these characters, and though they tend to be somewhat stylized in personality and somewhat predictable in their behavior, she succeeds in keeping the action moving and the picture of life in Sri Lanka developing, even as the violence is taking its course and irrevocably changing the face of the country. Not surprisingly, the characters who have gone to England discover in Part II that their dreams have been unrealistic.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bone China is the story of the de Silva family of Sri Lanka (or Ceylon as it was known at the beginning of the story). Grace de Silva is the beautiful matriarch, wife of heavy drinking and heavy gambling Aloysius. As WW2 looms they find themselves needing to move, as Aloysius has gambled the family money. All Grace has is her fragile bone china as an analogy of her family and their relationships. She has five children, all vastly different, with different dreams, aspirations and desires. Come civil war in Ceylon, most of the, now adult, children move overseas to safety and dreams of a better life. Their lives are very different in the UK, some want to hold onto their values and culture of their home, others want to distance themselves from it. We follow how their lives change.

Generally, I am not a fan of saga type books, but the setting of the book being part in Sri Lanka made it something a bit different. The characters are well written and interesting, although there is a tendency to write about certain family members more than others, so you don't feel you `know' some of them as well as others. However, I suspect our lead characters would feel the same thing as they all adapt differently and with varying degrees of success, and sometmes seem unable to relate to each other. I was not familiar with the author before this book, and I generally enjoyed her writing style which is engaging and unpretentious. As with many books of this type there is no neat conclusion, but that suits the book. Recommended to fans of saga style fiction or to fans of novels set against an historical backdrop.
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