Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when, or if, her husband, posted to India during the war, will return. 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. Gilbert's wife, Hortense, too, had longed to find a better life in England. But when she joins him, she is shocked that London is far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was. Through the stories of these characters, Small Island explores a point in England's past when the country began to change. Andrea Levy handles the weighty themes of empire, prejudice, war, and love, with a superb lightness of touch and generosity of spirit.More
Commonwealth Writers' Prize Winner, 2005
Orange Prize for Fiction Winner, Best of the Best, 2005
"Every scene is rich in implication, entrancing and disturbing at the same time; the literary equivalent of a switch-back ride." (The Sunday Times)
"What makes Levy's writing so appealing is her even-handedness....The writing is rigorous and the bittersweet ending, with its unexpected twist, touching." (Independent on Sunday)
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Abridgment makes the story incomprehensible