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The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
Book Reviews > The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (Trinidad)

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message 1: by Her Royal Orangeness (last edited Dec 17, 2011 07:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Her Royal Orangeness (OnlyOrangery) The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey

Location: Trinidad
Rating: 5 Stars
Shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize

Ah, yes, THIS is why I adore the Orange Prize. I probably would not have even heard of this book if it had not been nominated for the prize. And to be honest, I might have skipped over it except the location fit for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge. And to think I might have missed this gem, which has catapulted itself to the top of my Favorite Orange Books List AND the Best Books of 2011 List.

The plot is simple: a newly married English couple moves to Trinidad in the late 1950s when the husband accepts a job there, and their lives are altered by the politics of the country as it declares independence from British rule.

The execution of this simple story is utterly brilliant and totally captivating. Richly atmospheric with vivid descriptions of the Trinidadian landscape and culture and peoples. Complex and mesmerizing characters. Profound, yet subtle, probings into race and class and colonization.

Intertwined with this story of a country in tumult is George and Sabine's marriage which is filled with misunderstandings and complicated passion and opposing opinions of Trinidad. And at the very heart of it all is Sabine, who struggles to understand herself as a woman, as a British citizen, as a wife. She grows and evolves, becoming bitter and resigned yet also more completely her whole true self. Sabine learns how to define "power" and "compassion" and "revolution," and it is this that is the theme of "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle."

Genre: Literary fiction; historical fiction
Recommended for those who enjoyed: The Help or The Poisonwood Bible

message 2: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - added it

Diane | 8549 comments It sounds wonderful!

Her Royal Orangeness (OnlyOrangery) Diane: I saw that you mentioned somewhere that you liked The Poisonwood Bible, so I hope you'll check this book out. There's something about the two that struck me as similar, though I couldn't quite say exactly what it is that is alike about them.

Sharon | 16 comments I read this book soon after it was published, as the author is a friend of mine! I then reviewed it for Caribbean AIrline inflight magazine, and again for amazon. My amazon review is under the name aruna.

I spent much of my childhood in Trinidad as my mother used to work there and I really love it. I have close relatives living there as well. UNfortunately, the great crime is worsening.

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The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (other topics)
The Poisonwood Bible (other topics)
The Help (other topics)

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Monique Roffey (other topics)