From 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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'"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' '"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 '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 'Anyone who has a passing interest in Sri Lanka should read this beautiful novel.' Sunday Telegraph '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)
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