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Read Around the World Jan 2022 – Trinidad and Tobago

large_detailed_administrative_map_of_trinidad_and_tobago_with_cities_and_roads

Map Link

And we are off 2022 world travels begin now….

Fun facts from this website

  • Trinidad and Tobago is an island nation located in the West Indies of the Caribbean, consisting of two main islands – Trinidad and Tobago – and several smaller islands.
  • The country takes its name from when explorer Christopher Columbus named the larger island La Isla de la Trinidad (The Island of the Trinity) on 31 July 1498 on his third voyage. The tobacco grown and smoked by the natives on the smaller island may account for the name tobago, which is spelled tobaco in Spanish.
  • Due to its large reserves of oil and gas, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean.
  • From the 16th century onwards, Trinidad and Tobago saw France, Spain and the Netherlands take control at various stages before the British took control of Trinidad in 1802 and then Tobago in 1814.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is home to one of the world’s hottest chilli peppers the Moruga Scorpion
  • The world’s largest natural deposit of asphalt is located in Trinidad and Tobago. The La Brea Pitch Lake in southwest Trinidad holds around 10 million tons of asphalt.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is highly biodiverse and has a high species to area ratio with approximately 2,200 species of flowering plants, 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, 85 species of reptiles and 30 species of amphibians.
  • Legendary cricketer Brian Lara is from Trinidad and Tobago. Lara is widely considered one of the world’s greatest ever batsmen and is the record holder for most runs scored in an innings in both Test (international) and first-class cricket
  • The limbo dance was invented in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • A Trinidad beach is widely regarded as the world’s densest nesting area for leatherback turtles, the biggest of all living sea turtles.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is home to what may be the world’s largest brain coral – a spheroid shaped type of coral which resembles a brain. The Kelleston Drain measures around 4.9m across.

I chose to visit Trinidad and Tobago via The white Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey. What I really loved about this book was the way Trinidad is as much a character as George and Sabine I particularly loved the imagery of the hills as a woman who has stolen George’s love away from his wife and children and the magical realism? sections where the hill talks back to the characters.

This book starts at the end in 2006 when George and Sabine are an elderly couple living in a post-colonial Trinidad where violence and corruption are rife and where despite several uprisings their status and privilege is given to them because they are white.

I have to say I was thoroughly shocked at the end of this section it was a total OMG moment.

The story then moves back in time to 1956 when idealistic George and sceptical Sabine first arrive in Trinidad. There arrival coincides with the coming to power of Eric Williams considered the “father of the nation” and the great hope of the black population.

The story then moves forward via 1963 to 1970 and the Black Power Revolution where things are finally cemented for George and Sabine.

What I appreciated in this novel is that while it is George who claims to love Trinidad while Sabine merely wishes to escape it is actually Sabine who truly understands what a crime colonialism is and why the island people want her and her family gone. For all his claims of love what George is really interested in is what Trinidad can give to him. I did appreciate his change of heart at the end of the story.

When looking for the fun facts for this post I was pleased to see how skillfully Roffey had written the key points of island history into the story. I also loved the use of dialect for the characters born on the island and how it differed from the uptight English of the incomers.

At its heart this is a story about family, about love, about sacrifice and about understanding your place in history.

I would highly recommend this to anyone wishing to visit Trinidad via book.

Other readers visited in the following ways:

Sprainedbrain & TorieStorieS on Litsy – Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud they loved this book.

Did you join us on our trip? What did you read?

Up next Cameroon please share your travel plans!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Remedial Stitcher #

    Oh, I forgot about this! It’s still January, so I still have time to read The White Woman in the Green Bicycle.

    Like

    January 16, 2022
  2. CURREY #

    I am going to go with SprainedBrsin’s recommendation and read Love After Love

    Like

    January 16, 2022
  3. I’m still in the middle of the two books I’m reading. I realized I knew very little about the Caribbean, and so I am reading Eric Williams The History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago. I’m also in the middle of A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul. I’ve been underwhelmed so far, but I’m only 1/4 of the way through.

    Like

    January 17, 2022

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