Set against the war in Sri Lanka, Mosquito, takes the reader into the lives of Theo and Nulani. Theo Samarajeeva, an author, has come back to his homeland to write his latest novel. One day Nulani, a young artist, shows up on his veranda and starts to draw him while he's working. She comes day after day and soon Theo and Nulani strike up a friendship. Despite their age differences, 28 years, they are inexplicably drawn to each other and a love affair envelopes them. Sugi, Theo's houseman, recognises the changes in his employer immediately and warns his employer to no avail. Eventually, the lovers are separated by the war and both face insurmountable odds of ever finding each other again.
This is a beautifully written, wonderful story featuring the horrors of war, the beauty of art and the passion of lovers. It drew me in from the very first page and kept me engrossed until the very last sentence. The details of the prisoners treatment seemed so real. By the time, these details were revealed in the story, I really felt something for Theo, which made reading all the more arduous. The descriptions of Nulani's paintings/drawings were vivid and outstanding.
The age difference between Nulani, 17, and Theo, 45, made me a little uncomfortable. However, the author presented their relationship in such a way that it almost seemed like their destiny rather than their choice. This type of relationship was not commonplace in Sri Lanka. In fact, a few of the characters were dismayed by the age difference. It didn't matter to Theo and Nulani. I couldn't help but wonder how this story would be received had the relationship taken place in the west.
Roma Tearne, from Sri Lanka, trained as an artist and worked as a painter for a number of years. It's no wonder that art plays such a prominent part of this story.
Mosquito is an multi-award winner. Among them: Finalist for the 2007 Costa Book Awards (previously Whitbread), Finalist for the 2008 Kiriyama Prize and Shortlisted for the 2008 L.A. Times Book Prize (Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction Category).
Recommended. I'd definitely read another book by Roma Tearne.
For more information about this book or to Browse Inside, visit the HarperCollins website.