Mosquito

Overview

Set adrift by the recent death of his wife, Theo Samarajeeva abandons his comfortable writer's life in London and returns to Sri Lanka, his war- torn homeland. There he meets Nulani, a talented and enigmatic young artist. An unorthodox and tenuous love blossoms between this unlikely pair. Nulani finally feels love, and Theo sees hope in his future. But when the insurgency explodes, their precarious world is torn apart. Theo is held captive and stripped of everything he once held dear. Nulani is forced into exile....
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Overview

Set adrift by the recent death of his wife, Theo Samarajeeva abandons his comfortable writer's life in London and returns to Sri Lanka, his war- torn homeland. There he meets Nulani, a talented and enigmatic young artist. An unorthodox and tenuous love blossoms between this unlikely pair. Nulani finally feels love, and Theo sees hope in his future. But when the insurgency explodes, their precarious world is torn apart. Theo is held captive and stripped of everything he once held dear. Nulani is forced into exile. As the years pass, and the poison of war spreads across this paradise, will their love be lost forever? By turns heartbreaking and uplifting, Mosquito is a first novel of remarkable beauty and compelling power.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Tearne's beautifully crafted debut, middle-aged novelist Theo Samarajeeva leaves London after the death of his wife and returns to his native Colombo, Sri Lanka, which has been ravaged by the continuing civil war between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese majority government. In his many novels, Theo, who is Sinhalese, empathizes with the Tamil cause, but he refuses to take any extra precautions for his own safety on returning, despite the danger his books bring. After teenage artist Nulani Mendis, whose father was burnt alive by separatists, continually appears in his garden, where she draws in solitude, Theo commissions her to paint his portrait. As Theo and Nulani's lives become increasingly intertwined, genuine romance begins to unfold, but dangers lurk: a menacing former Tamil child solider, Vikram, has taken a liking to Nulani; meanwhile, Nulani's venomous uncle soon learns of the relationship with Theo. Tearne captures the desperation, fear and hope of love during wartime, showing multiple sides of the human capacity for survival. (July)

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The Times
[A] lovely, vividly described novel . . . [set] against a background of lush scenery and looming civil war.
Times Literary Supplement
Flashes of true beauty, along with an impressively sustained forward drive, are enough to make Mosquito an engaging and thought-provoking novel.
Christopher Ondaatje
Roma Tearne's novel of love and war is a heartrending story . . . the book is also about hope and survival.
The Spectator
Kirkus Reviews
A grief-stricken novelist returns to Sri Lanka in this first novel from a Sri Lankan born, British-reared artist. For years Sri Lankan native Theo Samarajeeva has been celebrated in England and beyond. His novel Tiger Lily brought the struggle of the separatist Tamil Tigers to world attention. Before its publication, few in the West knew there was a war of independence being fought against the powerful Singhalese government. But now all Theo wants is a simpler life back home, where he can mourn the death of his beloved wife, Anna, and try, if Karma allows, to write again. Sugi, Theo's devoted servant, needs daily to remind Theo that the country has changed in his absence-and not for the better. He must obey the curfew! And he must avoid talking to Nulani, the odd, 17-year-old beauty who witnessed government-sponsored henchmen burn her father alive when she was a child. Although Nulani rarely speaks, she sketches constantly in a notebook. Theo recognizes her prodigious talent and encourages her. He sets up a studio in his home and buys Nulani oil paints in Colombo. As Nulani and Theo work through their individual grief, the guerilla war intensifies. Their mutual affection deepens into love, despite the 28-year age difference. It is only a matter of time before violence separates the lovers. Theo is imprisoned first by the Singhalese and later by the Tigers, and Nulani is cast to an immigrant's uncertain fate. With vividly rendered tropical seascapes and jungles, and populated by philosophical servants and petulant power-mongers, this novel offers a moving May-December love story set against a conflict in which the warring parties ultimately become Violence and Art. Wholly satisfying.Agent: Felicity Bryan/Felicity Bryan Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933372570
  • Publisher: Europa
  • Publication date: 7/29/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,170,155
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roma Tearne is an artist and author. She was 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.
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