Bone China

Bone China

by Roma Tearne
     
 

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When Grace de Silva's once prominent family loses their vast tea estate she has little idea how everyone's life in her lush Eden-like homeland of Sri Lanka is about to change. Her children dream of escape-Jacob, the eldest, wants desperately to go to England; Thornton longs to become a poet; Alicia wants to be a concert pianist. But civil unrest is brewing and

Overview

When Grace de Silva's once prominent family loses their vast tea estate she has little idea how everyone's life in her lush Eden-like homeland of Sri Lanka is about to change. Her children dream of escape-Jacob, the eldest, wants desperately to go to England; Thornton longs to become a poet; Alicia wants to be a concert pianist. But civil unrest is brewing and Christopher, the youngest of the de Silva children, is soon caught up in the violence and tragedy that follows.

Against a backdrop of escalating ethnic conflict, Grace watches helplessly as the life she knows begins to crumble. Slowly, this once inseparable family is torn apart as they make the decision to emigrate to England.

In London, the de Silva's are all, in their different ways, desperately homesick. Caught in a cultural clash between the traditional life they knew in the East and the jarring modernity of the West, life is not what any of them had dreamed of. Only Meeka, the first of the de Silva family to be born in England, moves confidently through a world that is full of possibilities. But even her life is not as easy as it often seems to her immigrant family. Only after she has overcome heartbreak and a terrible mistake can she finally see the extraordinary effects of history on her family's migration.

This beautifully crafted story of hope and survival will appeal to all readers of White Teethand The Inheritance of Loss..

Editorial Reviews

Alison McCulloch
Tearne, an artist and writer who was herself born in Sri Lanka and moved to Britain at the age of 10, gives the Tamil diaspora a recognizable face in this plainly told yet engaging tale.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Like her first novel, Mosquito, Tearne's initially engrossing newest is rooted in strife-torn 20th-century Ceylon/Sri Lanka. This time she tackles a three-generation family saga, the island's independence from Britain and subsequent civil war, with mixed results. By 1939, Aloysius de Silva has gambled away most of wife Grace's inherited wealth, and his recklessness has far-reaching consequences. The appropriately named Grace sits at the heart of the story; equally clear-minded and romantic, she has her hands full with her children: Jacob and Christopher's aspirations are snuffed out by the financial losses; Thornton relies on charm and a winning smile; Alicia is a gifted pianist with big dreams; and quiet Frieda struggles to find an identity for herself in her vivacious family. Later comes Savitha, who marries Thornton and captures Grace's heart. There's much love in this family, and much tragedy around them, but by the time Thornton, Savitha and their daughter, Meeka, follow Thornton's brothers to the U.K., the story becomes a less inspired immigrant story. Tearne describes the beauty and devastation of Sri Lanka with passion and insight, but things quickly get dull in the U.K. (July)

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The Sydney Morning Herald

They're an eccentric family and Tearne's portrait of them is simultaneously sharp-eyed and empathetic . . . I felt myself identifying with the characters . . . It was a book that made me laugh and cry. I enjoyed my time with it and was left with a sense of my horizons having been broadened.

The Guardian

Probing loss and memory amid violence and displacement . . . Tearne deftly reveals the corrosive effects of civil strife on private lives and the redemptiveness of art.

Scotland on Sunday

Bone China is well-paced and nicely plotted, with flashes of brilliant lyrical writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933372754
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,219,453
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Roma Tearne is an artist and author. Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Britain, she completed her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. She has been artist in residence at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University. He debut novel, Mosquito, was published by Europa Editions in 2008.

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