Small Island: A Novel
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - styraciflua - LibraryThing
I had never heard of this British author, but I took the book from the library and enjoyed reading it. It takes place right after WWII in London, when some Jamaicans who served in the British Air ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - sachesney - LibraryThing
I really enjoyed reading this. Some sections are very funny, some are tender, other parts are just really sad. A thoughtful story that really made me think about the years after the war in England and the struggles and racism facing new arrivals from Jamaica. Read full review