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The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

by Monique Roffey

This is a cleverly constructed and absorbing love story with a great sense of time and place. Sabine (the bicycle owner) moves to Trinidad with her husband, going through a gamut of emotions as the country gains independence but her independence, within the marriage, diminishes. I was hooked from the start, enjoyed the second half of the book the best, and was disappointed to reach the end.

Extract

On land, the heat was stupendous. Show-offy, acrobatic; the air was somehow mobile, writhing from the sun's stunts. My lacquered hair, I feared, was turning to kindling, the skin on my shoulders sizzled. I thought I might actually be cooking, just like a pork chop. The pavement smouldered up through the thin soles of my sandals. I wanted to return to the ship.
'Are you all right, my love?' George asked.
'Mmmmm ....'
'Darling, you've lost the ability to speak.'
He was right. I couldn't find the breath to form words. A stout red-faced Englishman came forward from the crowd to greet us, sweat trickling in straight lines down his temples.

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