June 19, 2012

Book Review: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

I have a love/hate relationship with books. I love nothing more than to curl up with a good book and get lost in its pages but at the same time I find myself cursing a good story when it's 3am and I need to get to sleep but I can't help but continue.

'The White Woman on the Green bicycle" was one of those books. It pulled me in with its complicated love story, brimming over with passion, politics, racism and all the socioeconomic complexities that existed {and still do} in the British West Indies.  

Perhaps it was the fact that it was set in Trinidad and I could picture myself in every scene, I could smell the humidity before the rain and taste the rum in their afternoon drinks on the verandah. I was hooked. Monique Roffey has a knack for dialect, sounding out the beautiful Trini sing song and adding 'steupse' at just the right times. I could hear old Granny cursing under her breath and feel the excitement as thousands heard Eric Williams speak in Woodford Square. 
The history of Trinidad is quite interesting and this book is full of beautiful descriptive passages. I found it in a small English bookstore here in Amsterdam and the owner was less than enthusiastic about it so perhaps you need to be a West Indian to fully appreciate it. I have a strange fascination with the history of the Caribbean, partially because I struggle to fully understand how people could have treated each other like they did not too long ago. The White Woman on the Green bicycle offers a small glimpse into the past, masterfully capturing the beauty of the Trinidadian language, the richness of their culture and the complexity and disappointment of their politics. 
I'd be curious to hear what my Trini bookworms' opinion on this is.
Now I can finally start "50 shades of Grey" and see what all the fuss is about.

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