Customer Reviews


60 Reviews
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (16)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory and identity in the migrant experience
Roma Tearne's third novel - like her first, Mosquito, which I also recommend - centres on a young woman, an aspiring artist, who initially learns about life, love and much else against a background of inter-racial violence in Sri Lanka. But when her beloved grandparents insist that Alice Fonseka's mother take the girl to England for her safety because of her mixed...
Published on 27 July 2009 by ericmitford

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Disappointing
I echo the voices of other reviewers who state that the description of Sri Lanka was enthralling and beautiful. The first section of the book was absolutely absorbing and I really felt I had stumbled across a gem of a book.

However, as soon as Alice moves to London, it was as if another author had taken over from Tearne. The characters were one dimensional,...
Published on 23 April 2011 by J. Thomas


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moved enough to write a review, 16 July 2010
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
I have never been moved enough to write a review on-line but this book captures the characters, the time and place beautifully and believably.
I loved it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and beautifully written, 9 July 2010
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
"Brixton Beach" by Roma Tearne is a touching and beautiful piece of novel. It journeys during the 1970's. This refers to the time when there was civil unrest at Sri-Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). The author shares the experience with readers. The central characters Alice and her mother Sita experienced the situation affecting the country. Alice's mother was a Singhalese and father Stanley was a Tamil. This created discontent and tension.

It takes a deep look at childhood during the schooling days and the close relationship with grandfather Bee. Bee was considered an exemplary person. He respected everyone for who they were. Sadly, as the situation escalated, Alice and her parents were left with no choice but to leave behind the native land and embark on a fresh life in UK. Life was not easy as they had little money, lived in very poor conditions and had few friends. It took a deep toll and changed their lives forever, which is very sad to read about. It moves forward to the present times, when Alice becomes a parent and the memories haunt her.

Brixton Beach recaptures a difficult time facing a country and uses characters to show what life was really like. It cannot be easy for the author to write a novel of this nature, as she experienced the situation herself. It has to be praised for the manner it is written, but it really stayed in your mind, as it so emotionally touching and sad to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRIXTON BEACH, 16 April 2010
By 
Mrs. C. O'rourke (LANCS) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
I LOVED THIS BOOK THE AUTHOR DESCRIBES EVERYTHING SO BEAUTIFULLY, BOUGHT THE BOOK TO TAKE ME BACK TO SRI LANKA WHERE I RECENTLY HAD BEEN ON HOLIDAY, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED, I HAVE NOW ORDERED ANOTHER BOOK BY ROMA TEARNE CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unrelentingly sad, 4 Oct 2012
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
This novel begins in Sri Lanka in the 1970s. Alice is a young girl and Sri Lanka is being split by ethnic tensions. The daughter of a Singhalese mother and a Tamil father, Alice's family embodies this tension.

The early chapters of this novel are a chronicle of a Sri Lanka that is disappearing, of routines and rituals that are in their dying days. Alice's parents decide to emigrate to Britain, where they feel they will be safer. The British drabness is in stark contrast to the sun-filled Sri Lankan ease, and safety comes at a price as Alice's parents become distant to each other and Alice must find her own way.

This novel is one of my growing library of novels written by people whose childhood was marked by immigration to Britain and as a result have a foot in two different cultures. Their writing is infused by this experience and I find that they offer a fascinating journey into the questions of identity and cultural values, something which has always interested me.

Overall, whilst I certainly agree that this novel is, in the words of 'The Times' on the back cover, 'rich and satisfying, written with a painter's instinct for the beautiful' I do want to add that it is also unrelentingly sad, one of the saddest novels that I have read for a long time - so you might want to bear this in mind when you buy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving, 4 Dec 2011
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
This is one of those books that stay with you long after you have turned the last page. Yes, it is true that it is not a feel-good book but at the same time it portrays love and longing and mourning in such a universal and moving way that you can't help but compulsively turn the pages. I was deeply moved by the story of Alice and her family and Ms Tearne's words resonated deeply in me.
I really recommend this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The transformation of suffering and anger into Art, 21 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Kindle Edition)
This is principally the story of Alice, born in Sri Lanka and taken by her parents to Britain at the age of 9. Like Roma Tearne herself, Alice is of mixed race, with a Tamil father and a Sinhalese mother. Brixton Beach, however, is a true work of fiction and not a fictionalized autobiography.

The story is told against the background of racial violence which has afflicted Sri Lanka since 1958. Roma Tearne as a writer is ostracized in her native land. "Brixton Beach" is sold in only one bookshop in Sri Lanka, one catering mainly to foreign tourists. No newspaper in Sri Lanka has reviewed any of Tearne's four novels.

The most important person in Alice's life is her grandfather Benjamin, whom everyone calls "Bee". Bee lives in an idyllic beach-side location in Sri Lanka where Alice experiences the happiest days of her life. From Bee, Alice learns to be a painter and sculptor. Her separation from her grandfather at the age of 9 is a terrible wrench, but the images of the beach in Sri Lanka and the associated emotions are forever imprinted on her psyche and are eventually transplanted in Brixton, hence the title.

During their last year in Sri Lanka, Alice's mother Sita loses her baby in childbirth in a horrific episode of deliberate neglect. This part of the book is painful to read but is an essential part of the story. Sita's experience leaves her a life-long emotional cripple, and the drama of the book is in seeing how Alice survives as a person after having effectively lost the two most important people in her life.

In the final part of the book we see in descriptions of Alice's painting and sculpture ingenious and startling images of redemption. No other writer has recorded so faithfully or with such compassion a bleak period in the history of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, and the character of Alice is one of the most memorable in modern fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL READ, 1 Aug 2010
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
Wasn't sure what to expect, just picked it up as wanted a 'summer read'. I am not one for romance per se but I would say that the little bit of romance that runs through this novel hits the spot. Tearne has a magical way with words...utterly mesmerising...I was transported at times and got lost in the moment of the story...so much so that I shed many a tear sometimes not when at all expected. There is nothing like a good story well written and Tearne does this in abundance. Whilst the action centres around the main protaganist Alice, who is completely authentic and entrancing, the other characters in the book bring a richness and believability to the story which enrich the reader's experience. You know the writer has succeeded in creating real and true characters when you want to know these people...I really would like a Grandpa like Alice's! I would highly recommend this book for readers that wish to be transported into another world...fantastic!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant story, 25 Jun 2010
By 
S. Douglas - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
This was our book club choice for May/June. I doubt whether I would have selected it purely by reading the blurb- but I am so glad I was encouraged to read it. It is beautifully written- characters and setting so well-drawn. So much so I feel like going out and booking a flight to Sri Lanki! This is a story which engaged all my senses and evoked many personal memories, through descriptions of the Sea House; Alice's bedroom in Brixton Beach; food cooked by her grandmother; playing on the beach and walks with her grandfather; her 'aloneness' in England. The list goes on. A poignant story which caused me to reflect on my own life and which gave me an insight into how it must feel to leave one's original home for somewhere so totally different in everyway. I'm about to start Mosquito- Roma Teane's first novel- and I can't wait.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly found author, 28 Jun 2009
By 
Mr. R. Smith - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Hardcover)
Bought this novel entirely on impulse - whilst it is not the happiest story I have ever read the manner in which it develops through the eyes of the characters is fascinating - I found I was unable to put the book down until I read the final page, an excellent buy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars More Sri Lanka than Brixton, 15 April 2010
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Paperback)
This book opens with a description of the 2005 London tube bombings, and I felt this opening really got the book off on the wrong foot - it wasn't well written and actually didn't fit with the rest of the book. Following this prologue, the book becomes a fascinating insight into the experience of migration, identity and belonging, and family relationships. The role of both London and the bombings is actually very minor.

Rather (and I felt slightly at odds with the blurb) half of this book is actually set in Sri Lanka and builds a wonderful picture of life on the verge of civil war. It is the building of this picture that makes the following contrast with life in London all the more valuable in enabling the author to consider the impact of migration on feelings of attachment and belonging. I also would commend the author on her portrayal of the central character's relationship with her own son and the person that she has become later in life - rather than seeking a perfect image of lessons learnt from the past, it is clear that the impact of what has happened continues to affect later relationships and tells a more complex, and ultimately more interesting story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Brixton Beach
Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
£6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews