Fabulous Fiction Firsts #298

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle is the first title in our collection by novelist Monique Roffey, made memorable in its audiobook format by the narrator.

Adjoa Andoh is an accomplished British film, television, stage and radio actor who made her Hollywood debut as Nelson Mandela's Chief of Staff Brenda Mazikubio in Clint Eastwood's Invictus. She brings drama and texture in narrating this story of a marriage both passionate and tortured - between expat. George (British), Sabine Harwood (she is French) and Trinidad, the island that came between them.

Lush, and full of opportunities for a white man, George was immediately seduced by the landscape, and the easy expat. lifestyle, stretching a 3-year contract stay into a lifetime. Sabine hated the incessant heat, humidity, and the savage brutality of an island awakening to nationalism where the colonials were barely tolerated. In the early days, the only comfort which Sabine took was in the green bicycle that she rode all over the island oblivious to the stares and speculation, and her secret fascination with the charismatic freedom fighter Eric Williams, an Oxford-educated black man.

"Roffey succeeds wonderfully in writing an informative and deeply moving novel about her homeland. The white woman on the green bicycle is in fact her mother."

"Narrator Adjoa Andoh becomes each of the characters in turn, flawlessly giving voice to a variety of accents--from the languid and lilting cadence of the natives of Trinidad to the clipped and imperial English of the main character, Sabine. In addition to being a virtual chameleon in the realm of accents, Andoh portrays both men and women with equal ease and breathes life into each character so that the listener is apt to forget that anyone is narrating at all. As a result, it is less of a listen and more of an experience."