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Extended Audio Sample The White Woman on the Green Bicycle Audiobook, by Monique Roffey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,257 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monique Roffey Narrator: Adjoa Andoh Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781482980639
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A beautifully written, unforgettable novel of a troubled marriage, set against the lush landscape and political turmoil of Trinidad. Monique Roffey’s Orange Prize-shortlisted novel is a gripping portrait of post-colonialism that stands among great works by Caribbean writers like Jamaica Kincaid and Andrea Levy. When George and Sabine Harwood arrive in Trinidad from England, George is immediately seduced by the beguiling island, while Sabine feels isolated, heat-fatigued, and ill-at-ease. As they adapt to new circumstances, their marriage endures for better or worse, despite growing political unrest and racial tensions that affect their daily lives. But when George finds a cache of letters that Sabine has hidden from him, the discovery sets off a devastating series of consequences as other secrets begin to emerge.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A searing account of the bitter disappointment suffered by Trinidadians on securing their independence from British colonial rule and of the mixed feelings felt by a white couple who decide to stay on. An earthy, full-blooded piece of writing, steaming with West Indian heat.”

    London Evening Standard

  • “[Roffey’s] plot engages the reader through a gradual revelation of the past—slowly forming a melancholy whole.”

    Financial Times

  • “Roffey (Sun Dog) succeeds wonderfully in writing an informative and deeply moving novel about her homeland…She writes realistically enough to make readers feel that they have visited the island. Deservedly a finalist for the Orange Prize; Roffey is a fantastic talent who, one hopes, will keep writing for years to come.”

    Library Journal

  • “Roffey’s Orange Prize nominated book is a brilliant, brutal study of a marriage overcast by too much mutual compromise.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Equal love and attention go into the marriage and the country at the heart of this Orange Prize short-listed novel…It’s a book packed with meaty themes, from racism to corruption to passion and loyalty.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “Heart-rending and thought-provoking, you will never again see the Caribbean as just another holiday destination.”

    Elle

  • “Roffey’s evocation of Trinidad is extraordinarily vivid, the central relationship beautifully observed…Deservedly shortlisted for the Orange Prize.”

    Times (London)

  • “A rich and highly engaging novel.”

    Guardian

  • “Few novels capture the postcolonial culture with such searing honesty as this Caribbean story told through the alternating viewpoints of a white British couple over the last fifty years…The pitch-perfect voices capture the colonials’ racism and sense of entitlement.”

    Booklist

  • “Roffey’s explorations of longtime marriages, race, and the lingering effects of colonialism are insightful and often painful to read…The true main character in this novel is Trinidad itself: its people, its customs, and its contradictions.”

    NPR

  • “Engaging…A firebomb of a book, revealing a slowly disintegrating marriage, a country betrayed, and a searing racism that erupts in terrible violence…This is a stunning book, and its depiction of an aspect of Caribbean life is well worth contemplating.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • Selected for the 2010 Orange Prize Shortlist
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keri | 2/12/2014

    " The structure of this book was set so that the current story was told first and then the author took you back to when the lead couple met. I didn't like that. After reading what was basically the 'end' of the story, I didn't feel motivated to head back to the future. I did, though, because it was a book group read, but I had to force myself. The female lead, Sabine, came across as a whiny, pouting woman and her husband, George, as a clueless, self-absorbed jerk. Did I care what happened to them? Not so much. The group agreed that the real center of the story was Trinidad. Even so, I still didn't particularly care for this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rose | 2/11/2014

    " I expected this to be an interesting story, but I could only make it through the first 100 pages. I had a really hard time figuring out how I was supposed to perceive the characters, as sometimes the novel presents them in a sympathetic light, but then returns to condemning them, describing them cruelly. Additionally, It is hard for me to understand why George would be upset about Sabine's letters when he has, and still does, physically cheat on her. I didn't make it far enough in the story to figure out if she had a physical relationship with Eric Williams, but even if she did, George would be hypocritical for condemning her for that. Sometimes the novel makes it seem like he genuinely loves her, but then it describes how he finds her ugly in her old age. As I said before, I only made it 100 pages and George's only redeeming quality seems to be that he tries to bring justice to Talbot's attackers, and in the first 100 pages this was the only thing pertaining to the issues of Colonialism the book claimed to tackle. I don't mean to be solely critical of George, Sabine was often annoying, but it seemed she was more straightforward with how she perceived George than he was of her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 2/10/2014

    " A must for anyone who has lived in Trinidad "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maggie | 2/8/2014

    " The most miserable book I have ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 2/1/2014

    " This is a great story where the setting plays a major role. The characters are both captivated and imprisoned by Trinidad. The book is a suspenseful story full of politics, love, personal growth, friendships and family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise Sparrowhawk | 1/13/2014

    " Currently on page 130 - desperately trying to finish it in time for reading group - am loving it but can't find enough hours in the day to get it finished! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 12/28/2013

    " Trinidad "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 12/17/2013

    " A brilliant written depiction of life in Trinidad (if you have lived there it will strike a lot of chords). However, for me the actually story was too thin and I didn't care for the strange intermingling of real life characters in the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 12/2/2013

    " Ryan bought this for me for Christmas, just after I had bought my own green Schwinn Varsity :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 11/27/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It's engrossing... the historical aspect of it kept me reading, but the characters made me want to scream. I couldn't make sense of why anyone acted the way they did, and that made me not like them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 9/29/2013

    " imperfect but interesting take on Trinidadian politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 8/1/2013

    " This book was a recommendation to me and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it and "could feel the pain" of the main character, Sabine. The author really grasped writing "down to earth" characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kisa | 7/26/2013

    " Fascinating look at a place and moment in time I knew nothing of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 11/12/2012

    " The turmoil of politics in post-colonial Trinidad as seen through the eyes of a reluctant resident, a woman living there because of her husband's career. It's the making and the breaking of their family, over 40 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemary Mutton | 6/27/2012

    " It is amazing what we do not know about our world. I did not want to like this book but ended up absorbing every word of it. Such a good writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abigail | 2/19/2012

    " I really liked this book. I loved the rhythm of the sentences: two short and one longer. Beautiful writing. I'm still not sure about the change in the second half from third person to first: I missed his point of view. At bottom, this is a love story and a story of love disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/29/2011

    " Didn't like this one at first, but after a few chapters I really warmed to Roffey's writing. She's very fluid and descriptive and does an amazing and intriguing job of making Trinidad an actual character. The same goes with the blimp in the first section of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anamika | 9/24/2011

    " Amazing backward narrative of a white family in Trinidad. Descriptions are vivid and sensual, making you feel like you are on the Island. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krissy | 9/20/2011

    " An enjoyable read, telling a story of life in Trinidad. The characters could've had a bit more to them, and maybe developed a bit more in the book, but all in all it was an enjoyable book that I found hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linden | 8/21/2011

    " Trinidad through the eyes of a British expat couple from 1956 through 2006. Follows Independence, riots, corruption, and violence. Written in an unusual style, starting in 2006, so the ending is known and the previous years are revealed later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Creighton | 4/22/2011

    " Intriguing. Good characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trish | 1/16/2011

    " Vanessa sent me this book, and I was excited to read it since I'd heard about it before I left the states. Good story, easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 1/5/2011

    " A sad tale of a reluctant ex-pat in Trinidad. A heady mix of politics, obsession and helplessness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/1/2011

    " Wonderfully descriptive, this is a book that you lose yourself in! Read in in two sittings and wanted more!
    (Read Kindle version) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbra | 12/31/2010

    " I enjoyed this book. There was some excellent historical and cultural information about Trinidad. Very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 11/23/2010

    " Currently on page 130 - desperately trying to finish it in time for reading group - am loving it but can't find enough hours in the day to get it finished! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 11/20/2010

    " A brilliant written depiction of life in Trinidad (if you have lived there it will strike a lot of chords). However, for me the actually story was too thin and I didn't care for the strange intermingling of real life characters in the plot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 10/6/2010

    " I loved this book. It was so easy to like these vulnerable and difficult characters. I loved the setting and the way it jumped backwards and forwards in time. Delightful "

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About the Author
Author 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 several highly acclaimed including novels Sun Dog and Archipelago, which is a finalist for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She has also written a memoir, With the Kisses of His Mouth.

About the Narrator

Adjoa Andoh is a two-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. She is an actress of British film, television, stage, and radio. She is known on the UK stage for lead roles at the RSC, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, and the Almeida Theatre, and she is a familiar face on British television. She made her Hollywood debut starring as Nelson Mandela’s chief of staff Brenda Mazikubo alongside Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.