Author of The Mermaid of Black Conch, Rathbone Folio Prize 2021 longlisted, Winner of the Costa Best Novel Award 2020 & Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2020
Gavin Weald lives with his six-year old daughter Océan and their dog Suzy in a newly rebuilt pink house. It is only a few months since a devastating flood swept through their home, with heartbreaking consequences.
Gavin is trying desperately to carry on, but wakes each night to his daughter's cries and his own fears for the future. So one day he does the only thing he can think of: he takes his daughter and his dog down to the marina, to his old boat Romany which hasn't set sail in years, and embarks upon a voyage to make his peace with the waters. They set sail into deep open ocean, watch fish and dolphins leap from the waves, and head for the Caribbean archipelago that Gavin longed to explore as a younger man, before he fell in love with a woman and moored his boat for what he thought was the last time.
Now Gavin has a new reason for wanderlust and an unexpected crew, who are about to discover the full power and majesty of the sea. A miraculous journey awaits, new sights and wonders - but it will take more than an ocean to put the memory of the flood behind them…
Praise for Archipelago:
'There's a warmth to this book, an exuberance and a wisdom, that makes the experience of reading it feel not just pleasurable but somehow instructive. It's funny, sometimes bitingly poignant. A brilliant piece of storytelling' Andrew Miller, author of Pure, winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2011
Monique Roffey is an award winning Trinidadian-born British writer. She has written four novels and a memoir. Three of her novels are set in the Caribbean and form a loose trilogy which engages with political and environmental issues in the region. The most recent of these Caribbean novels is House of Ashes, published in July 2014. Set on the fictional Caribbean island of Sans Amen, it tells the story of three characters, a gunman, a hostage and a boy soldier caught up in a botched coup d'état. Archipelago, published in 2012, is both an epic sea voyage and an examination of climate change from the point of view of a man from the southern Caribbean. It won the OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2013. The judges commended it for its 'exploration of the greater Caribbean space in which is embedded a real-life story of trauma and loss and ultimately redemption that is both contemporary and compelling'. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, a story that maps the creolisation of a colonial couple during the early Independence years in Trinidad, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2010 and the Encore prize 2011. Her erotic memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth was published in 2011 to much praise and controversy and was reviewed in the Guardian as 'a subversive work that transcends the author's personal story: it stands alone in the chasm that has opened between feminist literature and the belles du jour brigade'. Roffey has a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches regularly for The Arvon Foundation and the Writer's Lab in Skyros. She is a member of the action group Carib-Lit and teaches and runs workshops regularly in Trinidad too. She divides her time equally between London and Port of Spain. Find out more at http://www.moniqueroffey.co.uk