I feel like removing stars from all the books I have read so when I give this five stars you will see how this book sparkles,
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This review is from: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (Paperback)
An unforgettable love story, brimming with passion and politics, set over fifty years in Trinidad – a place at times enchanting, and at times highly dangerous . . .
When George and Sabine Harwood arrive in Trinidad from England as young newlyweds, they have with them just a couple of suitcases and Sabine's prized green bicycle. Their intention is to stay for not more then three years, but George falls in love with the island. Sabine, however, is ill at ease with the racial segregation and unrest in her new home, and takes solace in the freedom of her green bicycle.
George and Sabine become more entangled in their life on the island – in all its passion and betrayals – and Sabine's bicycle takes her places she wouldn't otherwise go. One day George make a discovery that forces him to realise that extent of the secrets between them, and is seized by an urgent, desperate need to prove his love for her – with tragic consequences
I finished this book last night, before I went to bed, but it is still night or early, early morning. 3:30 AM to be precise! I cannot sleep. I keep thinking abut this book and how I shhould explain why I adore it. It swallowed me, sucked on me, swished me around, pounded me and then spit me out. Or have you ever been tumbled and beaten by a crashing wave? When you escape, thrown up on shore, dizzy, without footing, tousled, pummelled; that is another way of describing how you feel after reading this book. Chrissie, this is not helping..... be specific! Explain! How?! Where do I begin?
I will begin by saying you feel physically beaten and brutalized by this book. Well, I did. The land, the people, the pounding heat, the fruit that fall down on on your head, the insects that attack, the earth that rumbles and moves so you are shaken. You physically feel this book. With the author's words you feel life on the island of Trinidad. I cannot explain it better than that. And you feel the youth and sexual attraction of Sabine when she arrives, when she is atop that green bicycle pedalling all over the island, scared of NOTHING! She is too busy to be scared, There is not an ouce of fear even in situations where perhaps she should have been frightened. She is so alive and beautidul and sexy atop that bicycle. Everyone noticed her. Cars almost collided. And you see her when she is in her seventies, old and beaten by the sun and all the other forces of this island. This book is sensual. When a couple cannot talk, cannot communicate, they use sex to pound each other; it is the only means left to reach out to the other.
Mentally this book puts you in a turmoil too. This book is historical fiction. You get the history of Trinidad from the 1950s through to 2007. The history isn't on the edge of the stroy but it IS the story. The whole story. It is the central theme. You cannot close the covers of this book and not understand what happened there in Trinidad during this time period. Such is impossible. A central theme of all this is colonialism. Europeans sucking the sap out of this West Indian island. It is about the love/hate feelings between the black Africans, the French Creole aristocracy and the Europeans. I have lived in different countries. I know what is is like to be plunked down in a culture that you do not understand. How do you feel when you arive and when you have been there for years? Sabine and her husband George arrived with completely different intentions. Sabine didn't really want to come. This made me feel cold toward her. But which of the two let the island's culture suck them in more? That is an interesting question? I also understand the turmoil Sabine felt because she didn't agree with her husband about the basics; how long would they stay or what was the purpose of their stay on the island?! I actually came to fully understand Sabine. I joined her side, but hey you do not understand where she really stood until you read this book. Read this book. It is marvellous.
I feel like removing stars from all the books I have recently read so that when I give this five stars you will see how this book sparkles and is illuminated by the five stars. I do not think this book will fit everybody. It fit me perfectly. Are you interested in how it feels to be a foreigner in a new country? Are you interested in history? Do you want an emotional ride? Do you enjoy the excerpts given below? Those are the suestions you should ask yourself when you decide whether you want to read this book! If you answer yes, then read this book.