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The Teardrop Island: Following Victorian Footsteps Across Sri Lanka Paperback – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (3 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849534144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849534147
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'A fascinating and enjoyable read from an articulate and entertaining writer.'

(Wanderlust)

‘In post-tsunami, post-civil war Sri Lanka, Cherry Briggs vividly retraces the footsteps of a quirky 19th-century explorer.’

(National Geographic Traveller (US))

'Inspired by the Ceylon travels recounted in the mid-1800s by Irishman James Emerson Tennent, Briggs not only touches on Sri Lanka’s deep and colorful history but also details her modern-day encounters with people and street scenes, venturing from the island’s south coast to the capital city of Colombo and all the way to its war-torn northern and eastern coasts, where travel has been severely restricted by the Sri Lankan army.'

(Booklist (US))

About the Author

Cherry Briggs worked as a Biology teacher in Oxfordshire until the cold, grey skies got the better of her and she went in search of warmer climes. Being a keen cyclist she got on her bike and cycled around Asia until she finally settled in Sri Lanka. Much as she loved the island however, her feet soon became itchy and she now lives high up in the Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CHCollier on 2 July 2013
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This is a beautifully written account of the author's time in Sri Lanka. It combines description of the country and its atmosphere with personal experience. The reader also learns a great deal about the history: this is written in a conversational way and woven in with the stories, so it's easy to read. Cherry's anecdotes and dry humour, as well as the characters of the local people that she portrays, bring this book to life. It's extremely enjoyable and I thoroughly recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By cr1@dircon.co.uk on 3 Jun. 2013
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Cherry Briggs must be a young woman possessed of a strong constitution and considerable patience. Circumnavigating Sri Lanka using public transport, she records her conversations with a cross-section of Sri Lankan society, muslims, buddhists, trainspotters, the war-torn, tsunami ravaged, and mosquito-bitten travellers. What emerges is a delightful description of an island that has emerged from civil war and begun to 'love living' again. Briggs describes the flora and fauna of the teardrop Island with the benefit of her knowledge of biology to colour and evoke without preaching. Contrasting life in Sri Lanka today with the way Sir James Emmerson Tennant found it it the 1800s, we find little and much that has changed. This is a gentle book that informs, educates and entertains. An easy read - the pages melt away. Briggs' learning is worn lightly and we also learn something of the author, revealed little by little as her journey progress.

This is the author's first book and her style and confidence as a writer improves with every chapter. A more precise job of editing would be useful for the next volume - which I hope follows soon. Anyone visiting Sri Lanka for a holiday, gap year or to work will find this book a joy to read as well as gleaning much useful information about living and navigating this beautiful island. Arm-chair travellers are transported in geography and time and will learn much without trying too hard, Miss Briggs having done the work for us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 1 Oct. 2013
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The blurb suggests you will really get a feel for Sri Lanka as the author travels round and sees the "real" country. However, the writing style is too objective and distant (albeit descriptive) and I certainly wasn't drawn into the book. I just about managed to finish it, but felt disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H Dickie on 19 April 2014
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This book is making me consider visiting Sri Lanka, a country that has not been on my list before. The book is well written by an an author who has a good eye for detail and observation of character.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 8 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
A fantastic book full of entertaining anecdotes and cultural references. The author's love of Sri Lanka and honesty about its problems make Teardrop island both interesting and insightful.

A great book for those who enjoy travel writing, are interested in Sri Lanka, or just looking for a well written and engaging book.
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Like the other reviewers, I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was packed full of interesting stories and anecdotes from the people the author met on her journey around Sri Lanka, which were not only very entertaining (and often very funny) but also give a real insight into life in a different culture. I also learnt a lot about the history of Sri Lanka, while the light and easy writing style stopped this feeling like a chore. I was drawn through the pages to find out what interesting stories would come next.

This book would be perfect for anyone travelling to Sri Lanka, containing background on many of the well known travel spots as well as areas off the tourist trail. But it would also be a great read for anyone interested in learning more about an very interesting country, and looking for an entertaining and well written book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JD on 24 Feb. 2014
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Having visited Sri Lanka briefly while the war was in progress, I was very interested in Cherry Briggs's account of life in Sri Lanka now. She has a great gift of drawing pictures with her words and I found the tales of her journey round the island fascinating.
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I'm at a bit of a loss as to why Ms Briggs did this trip. She doesn't seem to enjoy either the journey or what she finds - in fact I'm not sure she really 'finds' anything original at all. Don't get me wrong, it's packed full of facts - probably too many which detracts from the human contact. I got this as a holiday read while in Sri Lanka, and while I agree her observations were accurate she only seems to see the negative and doesn't take in the glory of the surroundings, the humanity and warmth of the people, the wonderful fresh fish curries, a perfect cup of tea, their obsession with cricket .....etc

I really enjoy travel books, some of my favourite writers are travel writers, but they should always inspire you to want to visit yourself or, at least, to want to know more and truly understand a place. I just don't think this book does that, which is a shame as Sri Lanka is a fabulous place and well worth knowing more about. I appreciate she visited following difficult times (after the civil war and tsunami), and those elements are interesting and wouldn't be observed by most tourists, but I still think she just doesn't deliver the heart of Sri Lanka.
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