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The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
By Monique Roffey
Did Not Finish

Sometimes, I can get hung up on a part of a story – to the point where it plagues my entire reading experience. This is what happened while reading The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey.

The book is divided into chronological sections, starting with 2006 and then going back to 1956, 1963 and 1970. So, when Roffey introduces us to the main characters, George and Sabine, we are meeting their 75-year-old versions (with most of their lives’ experiences behind them). For the first 189 pages, it was difficult to like George and Sabine. George was a lifelong philanderer – selfish and egotistical. Sabine drank and smoked excessively, and liked to pick fights with George and their daughter. As I muddled through these pages, reminding myself that the book will reveal more about these characters, something happens. Sabine beats her family dog. The scene was only a few paragraphs long but affected me tremendously. So tremendously that as I moved to the earlier years of the characters’ lives, I could not forget what Sabine did.

120 pages from the end, I couldn’t bear reading about Sabine anymore. I was done with her. I placed my bookmark in front of the next chapter, put the book aside and thought about what to do next. Ultimately, I decided to walk away from The White Woman on the Green Bicycle.

Despite my abandonment of this book, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Roffey’s writing talent and her fascinating exploration into Trinidad’s history. Indeed, many aspects of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle were appealing. Perhaps I can come back to it once I let go of my distaste for Sabine. Until then, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle will sit on my shelf; my bookmark marking the spot where I said no more.

Tags: orange july, orange prize project

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