Roma Tearne

The Road to Urbino, 2012 Longlist

Roma Tearne is an artist and novelist. She is the author of four previous works of fiction: The Swimmer (longlisted for the Orange Prize 2010), Brixton Beach (selected for C4’s The TV Book Club), Mosquito (shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards First Novel Prize 2007) and Bone China. Born in Sri Lanka, she arrived with her parents in Britain at the age of ten and trained as a painter, completing her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. For nearly twenty years her work as a painter, installation artist, filmmaker and novelist has dealt with traces of history and memory in public and private spaces.

The Road to Urbino is a story of obsession, love and art set in Tuscany, Sri Lanka and London.

Ras, a Sri Lankan who fled his country as a child following the violent death of his mother and his father’s disappearance, has committed a crime. Dogged by his past and unable to come to terms with the killing of his mother, he struggles to make a new life for himself in the UK.

Alex has loved Dee since he was 19 but failed to realise that it was a love he wouldn’t find again. After Dee’s marriage, he too struggles to build a meaningful life for himself.

But when Ras’ and Alex’s lives connect, each man takes a new path culminating for Ras in the theft of a della Franceso painting, while Alex comes ever closer to Dee through tragedy in her life.

Beautifully written, with a strong narrative, The Road to Urbino is the story of two very different men and their love for the women in their lives, set against the backdrop of the heartbreaking horrors of the long-running conflict in Sri Lanka.


Abacus, Little, Brown Book Group

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