72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
A lush island, a lush book,
This review is from: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (Paperback)
The trouble begins when George and Sabine Harwood, flushed with the glow of a new marriage, arrive in Port of Spain, Trinidad in the mid-1950's. George feels immediately at home in the lush Caribbean island, whereas Sabine hates it and pines for England. But her love for George is fierce as a hurricane. She does her best to adapt; after all, George's contract is only temporary. She's very wrong.
As George falls more and more under the spell of the island and its quirky inhabitants Sabine creates her own world of secrets. Finding herself in an animated crowd listening to Eric Williams, the charismatic political leader, she falls as much under his spell as the restless Trinidadians, and recognises him as not only the island's saviour but, perhaps, her own. When Williams proves to have feet of clay Trinidad erupts into violence. Sabine is devastated; now is surely the time to flee! But the island won't let them go that easily.
Decades later George discovers Sabine's hidden past, and, driven by remorse, tries to put things right. As their marriage crash-lands the two struggle to regain the love they once had, but it might be too late.
Known to most Europeans only as the "big sister" to the holiday island Tobago, Trinidad has a fascinating life of its own. V.S. Naipaul opened a door on that life decades ago; Monique Roffey opens it yet wider, and paints a wonderful picture of a small country with a big and colourful past, a small corner of Britain's crumbling Empire.
Behind the cliché of white Caribbean sands, turquoise sea and cloudless blue skies lie the dark areas, slavery's shadow, and a people resentful of white domination. As that people rise up in anger racism begets racism, and it's time for the hard questions. Monique Roffey asks them fearlessly... but subtly, for Trinidad, the third party in this marriage gone wrong, will seduce the reader as much as she does George