The Flower Boy is Karen Roberts’ debut novel and the ‘blurb’ doesn’t really do it justice.
Although Chandi and Rose-Lizzie are the central characters the story deals with the relationships of all the characters. Lizzie’s family - her siblings and her father John with his unhappy marriage to Elsie, the English woman who really doesn’t want to live in away from ‘home’ in this strange, foreign place. Chandi’s family - his strong, proud mother, Premawathi - her mostly absent, aloof, husband - and Chandi’s sisters.
As time goes by and Ceylon heads towards independence, the characters are all affected by the changes taking place. Elsie grows ever more disillusioned with her life and eventually leaves for England, taking their son with her. This leaves John free to find real love, but the woman he chooses is a native and things aren’t always easy.
It’s quite difficult to categorise this novel which is part family saga, part love-story, but I really enjoyed it.
It got great reviews on Amazon, as did the follow-up (which I haven’t read) but then Roberts seems to have disappeared, which is a real shame, and her books are no longer print.