Bone China

By Roma Tearne

An epic novel of love, loss and a family uprooted, set in the contrasting landscapes of war-torn Sri Lanka and immigrant London.

Grace de Silva, wife of the shiftless but charming Aloysius, has five children and a crumbling marriage. Her eldest son, Jacob, wants desperately to go to England. Thornton, the most beautiful of all the children and his mother’s favourite, dreams of becoming a poet. Alicia wants to be a concert pianist. Only Frieda has no ambition, other than to remain close to her family. But civil unrest is stirring in Sri Lanka and Christopher, the youngest and the rebel of the family, is soon caught up in the tragedy that follows.

As the decade unfolds against a backdrop of increasing ethnic violence, Grace watches helplessly as the life she knows begins to crumble. Slowly, this once happy family is torn apart as four of her children each make the decision to leave their home.

In London, the de Silvas are all, in their different ways, desperately homesick. Caught in a cultural clash between East and West, life is not as they expected. Only Thornton’s daughter, Meeka, moves confidently into a world that is full of possibilities. But nothing is as easy as it seems and she must overcome heartbreak, a terrible mistake and single parenthood before she is finally able to see the extraordinary effects of history on her family’s migration.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 02 Sep 2010
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0-00-725750-8
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 School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, and was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She is currently the holder of an Arts and Humanities Research Council fellowship in the visual arts. Her first novel, “Mosquito”, was published in 2007 and her next novel, ‘Brixton Beach’, is published in 2009. She lives and works in Oxford.

'Told with intelligence and grace, 'Bone China' is a compassionate take of an anguished spirit with an irrepressible quest for assimilation. Perhaps this single, slender volume of expression will get the author the acceptance she deserves.' Christopher Ondaatje, Sunday Telegraph -

'One of those rich, nourishing family sagas that seizes the imagination … Tearne carries her story triumphantly into the present.' The Times -

'Tearne's evocative descriptions of landscapes, cities, wildlife and weather carry the novel through its geographical shifts.' TLS -

”'Tearne's second novel also deftly reveals the corrosive effects of civil strife on private lives and the redemptiveness of art. Probing loss and memory amid violence and displacement, her novels have affinities with Romesh Gunesekera's groundbreaking fiction.” - Guardian