Described as 'rich and satisfying' by The Times, Brixton Beach is the story of an artistic young girl forced to leave war-torn Sri Lanka, only to find that the shadow of violence has followed her to London.
'An ambitious, lyrical novel' TLS
Opening dramatically with the horrors of the 2005 London bombings, this is the profoundly moving story of a country on the brink of civil war and a child's struggle to come to terms with loss.
London. On a bright July morning a series of bombs bring the capital to a halt. Simon Swann, a medic from one of the large teaching hospitals, is searching frantically amongst the chaos and the rubble. All around police sirens and ambulances are screaming but Simon does not hear. He is out of breath because he has been running, and he is distraught. But who is he looking for?
To find out we have first to go back thirty years to a small island in the Indian Ocean where a little girl named Alice Fonseka is learning to ride a bicycle on the beach. The island is Sri Lanka, with its community on the brink of civil war. Alice's life is about to change forever. Soon she will have to leave for England, abandoning her beloved grandfather, and accompanied by her mother Sita, a woman broken by a series of terrible events.
In London, Alice grows into womanhood. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she has a son. Slowly she fulfils her grandfather's prophecy and becomes an artist. Eventually she finds true love. But London in the twenty first century is a mass of migration and suspicion. The war on terror has begun and everyone, even Simon Swann, middle class, rational, medic that he is, will be caught up in this war in the most unexpected and terrible way.
'Rich and satisfying, and written with a painter's instinct for the beautiful' The Times
'Tearne is a vividly sensitive writer who spares her readers unnecessary sentiment and hones in on raw emotions just below the surface' The Independent
'Richly characterised and deeply moving' Daily Mail
Heartfelt and timely’ Chris Cleave, New York Times bestselling author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven
'An exquisite writer and captivating storyteller' Aminatta Forna, author of The Memory of Love
'[Tearne] gives the Tamil diaspora a recognizable face in this plainly told yet engaging tale' New York Times
'Beautifully crafted ... Tearne captures the desperation, fear and hope of love during wartime' Publishers Weekly
'Offers a moving May-December love story set against a conflict in which the warring parties ultimately become Violence and Art. Wholly satisfying.' Kirkus Reviews
'In her moody, painterly depiction of the encounter turned love affair between a Sri Lankan novelist and his neighbor's daughter, Tearne links her love story to national politics with a vengeance.' NPR, All Things Considered