A lyrical and profoundly moving story of love, loss and civil war, set in Sri Lanka, London and Venice. When author Theo Samarajeeva returns to his native Sri Lanka after his wife's death, he hopes to escape his gnawing loss amid the lush landscape of his increasingly war-torn country. But as he sinks into life in this beautiful, tortured land, he also finds himself slipping into friendship with an artistic young girl, Nulani, whose family is caught up in the growing turmoil.
Soon friendship blossoms into love. Under the threat of civil war, their affair offers a glimmer of hope to a country on the brink of destruction! But all too soon, the violence which has cast an ominous shadow over their love story explodes, tearing them apart. Betrayed, imprisoned and tortured, Theo is gradually stripped of everything he once held dear -- his writing, his humanity and, eventually, his love. Broken by the belief her lover is dead, Nulani flees Sri Lanka to a cold and lonely life of exile. As the years pass and the country descends into a morass of violence and hatred, the tragedy of Theo and Nulani's failed love spreads like a poison among friends sickened by the face of civil war, and the lovers must struggle to recover some of what they have lost and to resurrect, from the wreckage of their lives, a fragile belief in the possibility of redemption.
Beautifully written, by turns heartbreaking and uplifting, Mosquito is a first novel of remarkable and compelling power.
Shortlisted for Costa First Novel Award 2007 and Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2008.
'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 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
'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
'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)
Roma Tearne fled Sri Lanka at the age of ten, travelling to Britain where she has spent most of her life. She gained her Master's degree at the Ruskin Shool of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, and was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She was recently awarded a fellowship in the visual arts by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain. She lives and works in Oxford.