Feb. 17th, 2012

stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I picked this book up from the OBCZ at the Camel and Artichoke with the express intention of reading it and putting it into the Asia bookbox. So I did just that. It is set largely in Sri Lanka (or Ceylon, as it was at the time this book begins), from the seventies through to 2005, and follows the fortunes of one family, focusing largely on Alice, the granddaughter. While the Fonsekas, Alice's maternal family, are Singhalese, her father is Tamil, and the mixed marriage causes tensions, to say the least. The narrative follows Alice as she moves to London with her parents and grows up to become an artist.

Most memorable about this book is the gorgeously vivid description, particularly of the landscapes of Sri Lanka. Roma Tearne is an artist as well as an author, and it shows not only in the sympathy with which she portrays Alice's experience, but also in the colourful imagery.

I was a little troubled by the way the book is framed (at the beginning and end) in white male experience, and do not feel that it would have lost much without the most part of the prologue and the epilogue. I was much more interested in Alice's career as an artist than I was in what men thought of her, and would have liked to see more of this.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9772189

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stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
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