Small Island: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2005 - Fiction - 441 pages
78 Reviews
Winner of the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction
A Picador Original Trade Paperback

Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class. His white landlady, Queenie, raised as a farmer's daughter, befriends Gilbert, and later Hortense, with innocence and courage, until the unexpected arrival of her husband, Bernard, who returns from combat with issues of his own to resolve.

Told in these four voices, Small Island is a courageous novel of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers---in short, an encapsulation of that most American of experiences: the immigrant's life.

Born in 1956 to Jamaican parents, Andrea Levy is the author of three previous novels and has received a British Arts Council Writers Award in addition to the Orange Prize and Whitbread distinctions. She lives and works in London.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AJBraithwaite - LibraryThing

Solidly researched and skillfully woven, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It's a strong reminder of how small-minded Europeans can be in relation to the people of their former colonies. I had no idea ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Set against the backdrop of World War 2 and its immediate aftermath, this is a story with universal appeal. Two couples – the Jamaicans Hortense and Gilbert Joseph and the British Queenie and Bernard ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Prologue
1
One
9
Two
18
Three
31
Four
50
Five
67
Six
71
Seven
80
Thirtyone
264
Thirtytwo
268
Thirtythree
272
Thirtyfour
278
Thirtyfive
281
Thirtysix
289
Thirtyseven
298
Thirtyeight
303

Eight
88
Nine
93
Ten
100
Eleven
105
Twelve
112
Thirteen
120
Fourteen
124
Fifteen
137
Sixteen
144
Seventeen
151
Eighteen
161
Nineteen
175
Twenty
181
Twentyone
183
Twentytwo
186
Twentythree
195
Twentyfour
206
Twentyfive
215
Twentysix
218
Twentyseven
230
Twentyeight
237
Twentynine
248
Thirty
257
Thirtynine
308
Forty
313
Fortyone
320
Fortytwo
324
Fortythree
329
Fortyfour
335
Fortyfive
342
Fortysix
349
Fortyseven
356
Fortyeight
362
Fortynine
364
Fifty
371
Fiftyone
378
Fiftytwo
387
Fiftythree
394
Fiftyfour
401
Fiftyfive
407
Fiftysix
413
Fiftyseven
420
Fiftyeight
424
Fiftynine
433
Acknowledgements
440
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Born in 1956 to Jamaican parents, Andrea Levy is the author of three previous novels and has received a British Arts Council Writers Award in addition to the Orange Prize and Whitbread distinctions. She lives and works in London.

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