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: 1,004,297

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

"The challenge the author sets up is a big one: How to show that this ruined family could ever recover. And Ms. Roffey, who won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for this novel, gracefully delivers on this front. Every wonder our sailors encounter -- an octopus, a giant tortoise -- brings a sense of believable peace." "--The New York Times" ""Archipelago "is the kind of tale that once you start reading it you can't bear to see it end. With sweeping emotion, extraordinary characters and the utter unpredictability of the sea, Roffey creates a timeless story featuring Gavin Weald, his daughter Ocean, and their faithful dog Suzy, who travel by boat from their home in Trinidad to the Galapagos Islands. Father and daughter experience both adventure and heartbreak, and ultimately return to their homeland irreparably changed." "--""The Minneapolis Star Tribune" "Like "The Odyssey," "Archipelago "is ultimately a journey toward home." "--The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" "Written in a style as fluid as water, Roffey's narrative weaves a perfect description of land and seascapes and explores the value of friendship and various types of love. . . . As heart-grabbing and memorable as her other books, e.g., "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle," this new work will have readers cheering for Gavin, Ocean, and Claire. An excellent choice for book groups." --"Library Journal" (starred review) "Roffey's stirring novel is one to place on the shelf next to "Moby Dick" and other notable seafaring stories. . . . Roffey ("The White Woman on the Green Bicycle") is a masterful writer whose words are subsumed in the pictures they paint and the tales they spin." --"Publishers Weekly" "This is a love of a writer; read her." --Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" "[A] stunning adventure story and coming-of-age tale. . . . [A] poignant, beautifully rendered saga of one family's struggle to survive a tragic loss." "--B