Archipelago : A Novel

3.86 (656 ratings by Goodreads)
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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.33g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • maps
  • 0143122568
  • 9780143122562
  • 1,531,721

Review quote

"A man's family home is destroyed by flood in Trinidad, but after it is rebuilt the nightmare continues. Roffey's lyrical style won her accolades for "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle", this is just as enchanting."--"Elle "(UK)
"Read this novel by Monique Roffey for its craft, its intense, elemental optimism and for the lyricism of a joyful girl-child's discovering of the different faces of an archipelago."--Earl Lovelace, author of "Is Just a Movie" and "Salt", winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize
"[ARCHIPELAGO] is lovely: a novel full of sensual, elemental description, soaked in loss and damage and softly haunted by the Caribbean's bloody history of slavery."--Claire Allfree, "Metro "(UK)
"A stirring narrative. . . . Roffey captures the impotence of man in the face of the extremes of -nature quite superbly."--"Scotland"" on Sunday"
"Most people dream of escaping "to" the Caribbean; the hero of Roffey's novel is mad keen to escape "from" Trinidad after his house is destroyed by a flood. He returns to rebuild his home with his six-year-old daughter, but memories of the flood haunt him and he takes to his boat. You can feel the sea breeze on your face and you'll be itching to dive into 'the green and turquoise leopard print sea.'"--Sebastian Shakespeare, "Tatler"
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About Monique Roffey

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
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Rating details

656 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 24% (155)
4 47% (308)
3 23% (152)
2 5% (34)
1 1% (7)

Our customer reviews

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 more
by Michael B MURFITT
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