Published: 28/04/2017
ISBN: 9781788037358
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

Born into the fourth generation of a colonial family and raised between England and Sri Lanka, Judy developed a love of different cultures and the unknown at an early age. Travelling between Englan... read more

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Jawatta Road
A Ceylon Childhood
by Judy Shattock

Ceylon, Pearl of the East, a teardrop shaped island lying in the India Ocean, now called Sri Lanka, is the setting for this memoir. Jawatta Road, close to Cinammon Gardens, is in an exclusive area of Columbo, where houses built by wealthy Singhalese accommodated Embassies and the foreign community. Close to the race course and sports clubs, half a mile from the sea, it is here, in the late 1940s that the author lived. This is a story of a post colonial lifestyle, long since gone. Those who lived in this tropical paradise will have memories of glorious blue sea, fringed by golden sands and palm trees, living alongside a nation of handsome people whose language and customers reflected a long history of rule by kings and migration of other races.

Judy was the fourth generation of her family to live in this exotic country. Spending her childhood in a series of grand, two storied bungalows, she was waited on by servants, cared for by a series of ayahs and driven around in rickshaws. This led to a distancing from her parents, whose own traditions insisted on her undergoing the rigours of boarding school. She experienced great joy and great heartbreak in equal measure. Her story is described evocatively, tragedy fills the pages. 'Home' is a theme running through this simple memoir. Where is it? What is it? Anyone who might have experienced a similar upbringing will find this a compelling read.

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Jawatta Road is an evocative and imaginative read. Judy vividly sets the scenes of a colonial Colombo, and adventures throughout the island. Anyone who has visited Sri Lanka will thoroughly enjoy this book.

by Alexie Sommer


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