Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Monique Roffey

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 149mm x 214mm x 19mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 28 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0143122568
  • ISBN 13: 9780143122562
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 1,138,269

Product description

A mesmerizing tale of a father and daughter’s sailing adventure from Trinidad to the Galapagos Islands, winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and finalist for the 2014 Orion Book Award Monique Roffey, vibrant new voice in Caribbean fiction and author of the Orange Prize finalist The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, returns with Archipelago, a new novel that is a journey of redemption, healing, and hope in the wake of devastating loss. When a flood destroys Gavin Weald’s home in Trinidad and rips his family apart, life as he knows it will never be the same. A year later he returns to his house and tries to start over, but when the rainy season arrives, his daughter’s nightmares about the torrents make life there unbearable. So father and daughter?and their dog?embark upon a voyage to make peace with the waters. Their journey takes them far from their Caribbean island home, as they sail through archipelagos, encounter the grandeur of the sea, and meet with the challenges and surprises of the natural world.

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Author information

Monique Roffey was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and educated in the UK. Since then she has worked as a center director for the Arvon foundation and has held the post of Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Sussex, Chichester, and Greenwich universities. She is the author of the highly acclaimed novels "sun dog" and "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle," which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 and the Encore Award 2011. She has also written a memoir, "With the Kisses of His Mouth." Read more about her writing at

Customer reviews

By Michael B MURFITT 02 Aug 2013 5

I read at least one book every week, sometimes more - both fiction and not. I am rarely moved to write a review. This book moved me to do so. The story is both simple in structure but complex in emotion. Maybe its impact had to do with losing a child - something I have experienced (more than once). The journey of Gavin, Ocean and Suzy on the Romany is beautifully crafted and related. The language is simple but with an eloquence that paints the landscapes vividly in your mind as you follow their voyage around the top of the South American continent, to and through the Panama Canal until they reach an emotional and climactic conclusion in the Galapagos Islands. This book will make you laugh and cry, sometimes in quick succession and in either order. It is a story about real people, with real feelings and the need to find resolution and understanding of traumatic events.

Review quote

"This is a love of a writer; read her." -Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" "An adventure blazing with a lust for life. . . . Monique Roffey has established herself as a fearless writer with her choices of subject and her visceral style. . . . "Archipelago" travels to new, intoxicating latitudes. . . . Roffey excels equally at the hands-on descriptions of yachting, the intricacies of island navigation, the beauty and terror of the sea, and the inner life of her rudderless protagonist. The girl is captured with pitch-perfect empathy. . . . [A] big-hearted "Moby-Dick" story for our times."--Kapka Kassabova, "The Guardian" "Arresting . . . . Strikingly vivid . . . . "Archipelago "beautifully evokes the pared-back rawness of being adrift, at the mercy of nature, first by accident and then by design. --Maria Crawford, "The Financial Times" "Engrossing. . . . ["Archipelago"] washes over the reader's imagination with the force of a tidal wave as its protagonists embark on a perilous journey along the Caribbean Sea. . . . A haunting portrayal of the dangers and delights, trials and tribulations, of surviving in an archipelago. Roffey evocatively conjures the life and landscape of the Caribbean islands. . . . Roffey here creates an incrementally powerful reflection on grief, an acute study of a father-daughter relationship, with a compelling account of climate change and a transformative journey. . . . The novel shows what remains in the heart when we have lost what we love, and the inner resources needed to rebuild a life from its ruins."--Anita Sethi, "The Independent" "["Archipelago" shows] the finesse Roffey reveals in her understanding of men in extremis. . . . As a writer, Roffey meets the challenge confidently, structuring her narrative adeptly and holding the reader's attention throughout. . . . It's a powerful story of endurance and triumph in the face of adversity, and one that also offers answers to questions of how we might respon