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Small Island


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... Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Small Island

Overall customer rating: 3.000
Patricia M

Fair to middle

by Patricia M on May 15, 2014

Book was too slow in parts for me. Good topic however.



by GingerBread on Jul 17, 2009

This book is full of things we have all heard before. It is boring and it is hard to keep the characters straight. Don't waste your time.

by quasar on Dec 28, 2008

Jamaican imigrants move to England after WW II , hoping to find jobs and a better life, instead face racial and cultural discrimination. Each character's vioce is clear and distinct as the story progresses. I think this is Levy's first book. Wow!

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