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Homesick by [Fernando, Roshi]
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Homesick Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Captures a fascinating world unseen by most of us. . . . Characters come alive and their passions and troubles are rendered beautifully.”
—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“A debut that can confidently sit alongside the likes of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Andrea Levy’s Small Island.”
The Sunday Times (London)

“Beautifully written. . . . Tender, uplifting and funny, too.”
The Observer (London)

 “Wonderfully evocative. . . . Impressive.”
The Daily Beast

“Roshi Fernando is a powerful new voice. . . . [Homesick] offers complex, mosaic characters and compelling storylines. . . . Fernando's insight, wit, sensitivity and versatility mark her as a striking new talent.”
The Independent (London)

About the Author

Roshi Fernando grew up in southeast London and received her Ph.D. in creative writing from Swansea University. She was a finalist for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award in 2011. She lives in the Cotswolds with her family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2624 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070O5F0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,862 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Live2Cruise VINE VOICE on September 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Homesick" is described as "kaleidoscopic" and this certainly fits. It's the story of a Sri Lankan family, immigrated to London, that moves back and forth in time and setting. Each chapter is narrated by a different character and the cast includes family, extended family, and friends. It actually reads more like a collection of short stories than a novel.

The work's greatest strength is how poignantly it captures the sense of being "homesick." Some characters are homesick for the country they have left behind, others for a country to which they have never been, but which somehow calls to them. The feeling of being between worlds, the longing for a sense of belonging that is thwarted by the characters being "both" and "neither" Sri Lankan and British, is beautifully captured in the writing.

The difficulty lies in the kaleidoscopic nature of the work. Ultimately the scope was so very broad, that I was left feeling a bit adrift in a very large sea of characters. There were so many that at times it was difficult to remember who was connected and in what way, and the frustration of this created an emotional distance from the characters. The transitions between chapters were sometimes jarring; it felt as though you had just settled in with one group of characters in one place, and gotten a feel for things, when it was time to move on to another group or place in time. Perhaps the constant sense of displacement was intentionally created by the author to elicit in the reader the experiences of the characters themselves, but this unfortunately made it difficult to connect in a deeper way to the story.

By the end, one can see how the threads tie together, and how the larger theme of homesickness plays out in each of the characters' lives. It's an admirable book, but it didn't grab me in the way that I think it could have had there been fewer characters and a deeper connection with each.
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Format: Kindle Edition
These 16 or so short stories of varying lengths are held together by an extended cast of characters, who are related by blood, marriage, or friendship. Central to the stories are their experiences and identities as Sri Lankan expatriates (immigrants) living in the United Kingdom (Great Britain) - people who are at home neither in Sri Lanka nor the UK. The stories vary in quality: Some I would give five stars, whereas others I would only give three stars - hence my overall rating of four stars. Some stories were haunting, whereas others should, I think, have been left out altogether. That is always an issue in collections of short stories, of course, and other readers might love the stories that left me with a "huh?" reaction. There's a rather puzzling story about a couple at a barn dance in which I never did figure out what was going on. Many of the stories require some patience, to understand what's going on, but a couple of stories never did seem to adequately explain the situation. On the other hand, one short story about a barely functioning man accused of molesting and killing a child was haunting.

Because I was reading a review copy, a list of characters planned for the actual published edition was not yet included, so I struggled some with keeping track of the characters -- who they were and how they were related. The stories moved around in time and space, adding to the difficulty. A few characters were encountered several times in various stages of their lives, while others only featured in a single story (although were connected in some way to other stories).

In addition to the central theme of the immigrant/emigrant experience - identity and assimilation, for example, another common theme involved sexuality and gender identity, including gay and lesbian experiences.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I would have wanted to know about this book before I got it is that this is a book of short stories. After I got past that annoyance, I started in.

About a third of the way in I wanted to stop. I tried really hard to get past some of the confusion with the characters. I did finish the book and I am glad I did.

This is a book about "not fitting" in. Not knowing where home really is. I think the author has some good ideas here. She has touched on a lot of issues that exist in any country.... As a debut novel, I thought that some of the stories were sweet and endearing which is why I gave it 3 stars.

I wish that she had focused on deepening some of the characters more and had worked to clarify who they were more clearly. There was some confusion with this aspect of the book. I had to really work hard to understand a lot of the characters.

There is also one thing that I learned in determining whether or not a book is written well. Try reading it out loud. I tried this numerous times and the book was a bit wordy and hard to read out loud. It really needed some more editing...

But, as a debut novel, Kudos to Roshi Fernando. The stories in here are tender, well thought out, and poignant.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Roshi Fernando's "Homesick" is a refreshing book in that it takes into smaller, more intimate compartments in the lives of the various characters. We see each character as an individual rather than someone to support a storyline.

It doesn't flow like a typical novel but, does anyone's family life have a constant flow to it? I found this choppiness added to the angst vs joy that comes from moving to a new country.

I'm a long time lover of the Short Story so I found this book to be a real treat. Much like a pie that has been sliced. Each slice is an individual serving but together they make a pie.
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