Read The World — The White Woman on the Green Bicycle Monique Roffey (Trinidad and Tobago)
Blurb from goodreads.com, please scroll down for my review.
A beautifully written, unforgettable novel of a troubled marriage, set against the lush landscape and political turmoil of Trinidad
Monique Roffey’s Orange Prize-shortlisted novel is a gripping portrait of postcolonialism that stands among great works by Caribbean writers like Jamaica Kincaid and Andrea Levy.
When George and Sabine Harwood arrive in Trinidad from England, George is immediately seduced by the beguiling island, while Sabine feels isolated, heat-fatigued, and ill-at-ease. As they adapt to new circumstances, their marriage endures for better or worse, despite growing political unrest and racial tensions that affect their daily lives. But when George finds a cache of letters that Sabine has hidden from him, the discovery sets off a devastating series of consequences as other secrets begin to emerge.
Quote ¨Every afternoon, around four, the iguana fell out of the coconut tree. Bdup! While sunbathing, it had fallen asleep, relaxing its grip, dropping from a considerable height. It always landed like a cat, on all fours, ready to fight. The dogs always went berserk, gnashing and chasing after the creature as it fled, scuttling across the grass, a streak of lime green disappearing off into the undergrowth.¨
This book taught me a little about life on the island of Trinidad.
This is all about a relationship, a relationship between a man and a woman and an island, Trinidad.
George wants to be someone, in Trinidad he is ´someone´ but Sabine is not happy, she wants to return to England.
Written with an unusual timeline, the first third of the book is the ending of the book, and then goes to the beginning, with different points of view in each section and although at first it was a little uncomfortable, I later enjoyed this style, the first part, which is the ending, had George as a main character and the second part, which was actually the beginning of the timeline had Sabine as the main character.
When George was the main character, I did not like Sabine, and her obsession with the prime minister. I thought she was being selfish and someone who complains a lot. But then again, George wasn’t always an enjoyable character with his attitude towards Sabine and vice versa. This was probably the worst part of the book, the relationship between the two main characters, George and Sabine. They both had different relationships with the island, one loved it, and one hated it. They are both rather unpleasant people. The best part was that the details and descriptions of the island and life on the island are vivid, heat, insects, color, local culture, the politics, the local people, details and smells are all part of the novel. There are also interesting details of the transition from British colonialism to independence.
This book will transport you to the island with its many details, both from the 1950´s onwards and the 2006´s with cricket and football being an important part of the era.
I enjoyed the writing style with the local Trinidadian´s while you are reading the book you can hear the people talk with the local accent. There is love, betrayal, politics, sport, racism from both white and blacks.
I am only giving this book 3 stars rather than 4 due to the main characters who I didn’t like, maybe if they had been a little more likeable I would have given 4 stars.
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Originally published at http://readinginecuador.wordpress.com on December 27, 2021.