Small Island by Andrea Levy
Date Read: 2010
Small Island is an international bestseller. It won the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best, The Whitbread Novel Award, The Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It has now been adapted for the screen as a coproduction of the BBC and Masterpiece/WGBH Boston.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.
Small Island by Andrea Levy: I am not sure quite how to review this book. I think it was extremely well written and easy to read. That being said the story itself was not appealing to me. At least one-half of the story was not appealing, I did enjoy the other half immensely. This is where I don’t blame the author but me as a reader because it was my POV’s that stood in the way of taking the story as it was presented. I did feel a connection to these characters and maybe that is why I got so aggravated at Queenie (yes her story was the one that just annoyed me to high heaven). Though her reactions to her choices I felt were real, her choices to begin with are what drove me batty. So, like I said hard to actually review the story but the writing and presentation were superb!
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