Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as many other awards, Andrea Levy's SMALL ISLAND is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war and love. It has now been adapted into a major BBC TV drama. It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21... show more
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as many other awards, Andrea Levy's SMALL ISLAND is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war and love. It has now been adapted into a major BBC TV drama. It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do? Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was...
Publish date: September 13th 2004
Publisher: Headline Review
Pages no: 560
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, World War II
I know quite a bit about the war years (~1915-50) in Britain, but I learned more reading this book that covers the experience of Jamaican British immigrants and soldiers during and after WWII. The most surprising historical information I got was how Britain coped with Yankee soldiers expecting Brits...
Small Island is a good, solid book in nearly every way, although for me it didn’t have that something extra that would take it up to 5 stars.The frame story is set in London, 1948: a black Jamaican couple, Hortense and Gilbert, move to England and rent a room from a white woman, Queenie, whose husba...
i'm ashamed to say that i abandoned this book because of another and i still can't understand why. it was truly interesting, i was reading it eagerly, then somehow i opened another book and haven't came back. such a fickle reader am i. i've extended the borrowing time once so going back to the libra...
This is a great book which tells the story of Jamaican immigrants to Britain after WW2. It takes a while to get into as the story is told from the point of view of different characters but once the book gets going the plot takes different turns and each of the main characters is developed excellent...
“Yes sir, British, and so is your mother?” he mumbled, in a hesitant way that made me wonder whether anything I was saying was going into his head or merely circling around it searching for somewhere solid to land." p 157