The Road to Urbino

After reading Mosquito by Roma Tearne and really enjoying the author’s “artistic” imbued storytelling, I was quite excited to see a new book by the same author.

The Road to Urbino is a very intriguing read. The Road to Urbino is a compelling novel of love, loss, political trauma, war shadows, grief, a barrister and an art thief.

Sitting in a British prison cell is Lynton Rasanagium (Ras), who is awaiting trial for stealing the famously intriguing and enigmatic painting The Flagellation by Piero della Francesca. Ras is an interesting, complicated man, exiled from his home country of Sri Lanka, divorced, estranged from his beloved daughter Lola. Ras is full of yearning and flooded with memories, longing and colour.

In years gone by Ras found himself on the Road to Urbino, drawn to the Ducal Palace where the famously small painting (23 X 32 inches) The Flagellation is displayed. It is in the idyllic northern Italian hillside location of Urbnino, that Ras crosses paths with selfish Alex Benson, art lover & historian Charles Boyar, his beautiful wife, and their young son.

Readers who are familiar with the real Flagellation painting, will quickly draw a parallel between the three male characters in the plot and the three males portrayed in the painting, The Flagellation, noting that one figure is sometimes controversially suggested to be an angel or a ghost. Readers will also draw an analogy between the calm detached way in which these onlookers look on, observing the flagellation of Christ with almost calm detachment and tie this is to events within the books plot.

Roma Tearne writes with artistic sensibility, richly describing scenes in hues, colour, textures and she manages to capture moments like delicate bubbles.

This is a page-turning novel that is truly poetic and atmospheric.