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The Road to Urbino

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  66 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 si ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Little, Brown
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Charlotte
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Unforgettable.

This book has so many different motifs that illuminate each other in unexpected ways.

Roma Tearne tells overlapping stories of love and grief from many points of view and across different times and cultures, but she is telling one story. There is a sense of patient, focused urgency in Tearne's lyrical prose that is always hypnotic. You can't turn away.

Although The Road to Urbino is told through a series of interviews with a lawyer following a "terrorist" act (a Sri Lankan ex-pat st
...more
Mark Staniforth
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
One of the best things about committing yourself to ploughing through a literary prize longlist is the joy of discovery: when it makes an avid read out of something you ordinarily would not have looked at twice.
I can’t say I had too much expectation for Roma Tearne’s MAN Asian Prize nominee The Road To Urbino: its premise seemed to veer dangerously close to the detective/thriller genre, and its qualifications as an ‘Asian’ novel – which was, after all, why I was propelled to read it in the first
...more
Helen
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I started off really enjoying this book but then my interest dwindled. I think that's because although told from 2 different viewpoints the 2 stories both are narrated as a dialogue between themselves and Ras' lawyer. The 'voices' of the 2 people could have been more distinct. Ras - who fled from Sri Lanka after the murder of his mother and father ends up working as a museum curator and in doing so finds himself drawn into the lives of Charles his wife and her past lover Alex. The story revolves ...more
Nickelini
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel is very different in story and style than Roma Tearne's earlier four novels, and it's exciting to see growth and change in a writer. What she did keep is her wonderful flair for painting word images, her concern for the victims of war, the use of art in healing pain, her explorations of memory, and the settings of Sri Lanka, England, and Italy.

The story follows two protagonists. The first is Ras, a middle aged immigrant from Sri Lanka, as he awaits trial in London for stealing The Fla
...more
Karen
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Roma Tearne is just about my favourite author and although at first I didn't think this would match up to other titles I have read by her, it certainly didn't disappoint. I love her style of of writing which is so colourful, stemming from her background as an artist. It leaves me with such a vivid picture of the characters and the story. I feel like I know exactly what Lola looks like, I understood Ras' actions and I have a picture of Delia and what she wears.

This novel is set in Sri Lanka, Engl
...more
Alyson
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably hovering around 2.5 stars. It was ok, interesting plots and characters, but I found reading part of it in first person difficult, especially as some chapters alternated between who that first person was. Also, I felt it was a bit of a flaw in its structure/narrative/writing style that this first person narrative also then, during the chapter, switched to third person dialogue between 2 people who were not even the first person narrator! At one point during one of these bits the first pe ...more
Simonetta Broughton
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny Little
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took about 30 pages to start to enjoy the book but after that I wanted to read on. The two storytellers tell the stories of themselves and others. The book paints an absorbing picture of a variety of people and their obsessions. The descriptions are rich and vivid. It falls short of 5 stars as I didn't like the ending either.
Baljit
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I would rate this 3.5 stars.
There is some similarity with The Swimmer, her earlier novel. And the art theme is ever present in all her novels.
She draws a picture of the 5 main characters thru interviews with a lawyer, and the dots begin to join up. I did think the v end was a bit drawn out.
Michael
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
There is a painterly quality to the writing, given the background of the author and there are the use of colours (not excessive) to illuminate the prose. It is also sparse in its description and dialogues, filled with gaps that requires the reader to fill in. Mesmerizing.
Christine Busuttil
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Found this a little difficult to get into to start and a bit tedious towards the end
However the plot,theme,and characters within are interesting and I would give it 3 and a half stars if there was such a rating available
Mike Taverner
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was so slow, way too slow. In the end I just didn't really care what happened to them!
Sue Webber
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was our Book discussion scheme choice for May. I really enjoyed this.
Sandra
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. Flawed characters well portrayed.
Interesting political themes.
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Roma Tearne is a Sri Lankan born artist living and working in Britain. She arrived, with her parents in this country at the age of ten. She 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, and filmmaker has dealt with the traces of history and memory within public and private spaces.

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