Archipelago is a book about journeys. Gavin has just been through the most traumatic year of his life. His house was destroyed in a flood, his son killed and his wide suffered some sort of nervous breakdown and has been ‘asleep’ for the last year. He’s reached middle age, with the inevitable middle-aged spread, is completely unmotivated at work, and worried about his daughter Ocean who has suffers nightmares and a fear of rain since the floods. So he packs up his sailing boat, closes up his house in Trinidad, and takes off with his daughter Ocean and their dog Suzy to explore the archipelagos and sail to the Galapagos.
It’s a physical journey, but also a journey of redemption and healing as father and daughter come to terms with their loss and start to recover.
I read The White Woman on the Green Bicycle when it was first released, and really enjoyed it, and was excited about this novel. I loved the sense of place, the descriptions of the Caribbean, the wildlife, the ocean. I enjoyed the characters, especially Ocean and Suzy. My only criticism is that I wasn’t always fully engaged with it for some reason and didn’t always ‘get’ Gavin. But overall, I enjoyed it and it’s worth a read for the setting alone.