Prime Edition

An elegantly told story of redemption

30th Sep 2012

Archipelago

Monique Roffey

Harper & Brothers

Pages: 365 Rs. 499

Who do you hold responsible when a natural disaster sweeps away a life you've built painstakingly? When Gavin Weald's home in Trinidad is destroyed by floods in 2008, his entire life is upturned. His wife is in depression because their infant son drowns, and he is left in charge of his six-year-old daughter. In a Herculean effort, he packs up his belongings, his daughter Ocean and dog Suzy, and sets off on his old boat Romany to the Galapagos, an archipelago off the shore of Ecuador. As they travel across the Caribbean islands and traverse two oceans in the space of four months, the nomadic threesome find it in themselves to take life as it comes. Roffey's exquisite prose is only accentuated by the depth of thought and well-etched psychologies of all characters in the novel. Particularly endearing are the conversations between Ocean and Gavin, who constantly draw parallels between their situation and Ahab's revenge against the whale in Melville's Moby Dick. Needless to say, reason and optimism triumph.

– Nidhi Gupta

 
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