Andrea Levy's acclaimed Small Island is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war, and love. It was awarded the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize.
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.... Read by the author.
"Wonderful...seamless...a magnificent achievement." (Linda Grant)
"A cracking good read...I think what appealed to me most was the passion and anger in the writing all the way through, yet it was always leavened with a particularly wry sort of humour - the sort that, tho' you find yourself smiling, you at the same time realise you almost shouldn't be." (Margaret Forster)
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Terrific narration, compelling story
- Bob Gibson
Fabulous Story with Excellent Narration
Close to the top. The story is captivating.
I enjoyed the fact that the story is narrated by several different characters, each with a unique, and, at times, quite comical, perspective.
Ms. Levy breathed life into each quirky, fascinating character. She performed different accents extremely well.
The Clash Echoes.
I strongly recommend this nook.