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14th January 2020


Gallic Books


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14th January 2020



The Road to Urbino

Author Roma Tearne


What led a mild-mannered gallery attendant to steal a Renaissance masterpiece?

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‘Every act has a past. Events don’t just materialise from nowhere.’

Ras, a Tamil exile in London, is awaiting trial for the theft of a Renaissance masterpiece. Searching for the truth behind her client’s act, Ras’s lawyer, Elizabeth Saunders, must piece together his story and that of enigmatic British writer Alex Benson. The trail she follows leads from Sri Lanka to the hills of Italy where, despite the serenity of the landscape, war’s shadow looms long and large.

A vivid and moving fresco of art, love and loss from the LA Times Prize-shortlisted author of Mosquito and Brixton Beach. 

‘Accomplished … painterly’ New York Times
‘[Tearne] layers the stories of these men like paint on canvas, sometimes providing contrast, sometimes shading, and sometimes filling in blank parts. Once completed, the painting that emerges is one of loss, assimilation, and the lingering, generational effects of war’ Booklist
‘An original literary experience that begs consumption in moments of quiet relaxation in which it may fully cast its spell—and it will cast that spell’ Foreword Reviews, starred review
‘Rich and insightful’ Huffington Post
‘A finely crafted novel of art, memory and migration’ The Independent
‘Beautifully written and observed, a richly woven plot. Roma Tearne leads us seamlessly between the intensity of art, love in a warm climate, and acute human suffering’ Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
‘Roma Tearne has created a masterpiece of personal catastrophe, shot through with desperation and love’ John Gimlette, author of Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka
Praise for Roma Tearne
‘Roma Tearne is an exquisite writer and captivating storyteller’ Aminatta Forna
‘Skilled and sensitive … Tearne’s training as a painter shows in the subtle descriptions that fill each page with lyrical power’ Independent on Sunday
‘Tearne captures a shifting social and political landscape and questions notions of home and homeland’ The Independent
‘Tearne brings her skills as a painter to her writing’ Sunday Telegraph
‘She has a wonderful ability to create atmosphere’ The Times
‘Tearne charts the patterns of love and loss with beautiful prose’ Sunday Times
Roma Tearne

Meet the author

Roma Tearne is a Sri Lankan-born, Oxford-based artist, film-maker and writer. She trained as a painter, completing her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. Her debut novel, Mosquito, was shortlisted for the 2007 Costa Book Awards First Novel prize. The Swimmer was longlisted for…

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