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
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.
"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
"Starred Review. 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 ... this new work will have readers cheering for Gavin, Ocean, and Claire. An excellent choice for book groups." - 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." - Booklist
"Appealingly warmhearted; readers will empathize with the endearing characters and want them to have a happy ending." - Kirkus
"An adventure blazing with a lust for life ... 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 Guardian (UK)
"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." - The Financial Times (UK)
"Engrossing... 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 Independent (UK)
"[A] powerful story of endurance and triumph in the face of adversity, and one that also offers answers to questions of how we might respond in a rapidly changing world when things start to go wrong." - The Scotsman (UK)
"Compelling. ... Roffey, herself from Port of Spain, writes like one who knows these waters well, their beauty and their capacity to cleanse, but also their volatility. The writing is studded with striking images ... Roffey is adept at conveying wonder." - The Observer (UK)
"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)
"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.'" - Tatler
"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 beautifully done. There's a warmth to it, an exuberance and a wisdom. It's funny, and sometimes bitingly poignant. Monique Roffey writes the male central character so well, and as for the little girl at the centre of the story, it's one of the most vivid and charming portraits of a young child I can remember reading in years. A brilliant piece of storytelling." - Andrew Miller, author of Pure, winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award
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Monique Roffey was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and educated in the United Kingdom. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, an Orange Prize finalist, is her second novel. She is also the author of the novel Sun Dog and the memoir With the Kisses of His Mouth [June 2011]. Roffey currently lives in Harlesden, north London, where she spends most of the day in her pajamas, writing.
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