Small Island

Small Island

Andrea Levy / Sep 23, 2019

Small Island 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

  • Title: Small Island
  • Author: Andrea Levy
  • ISBN: 9780312429522
  • Page: 355
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 JamaicaSmall 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.

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    • Best Read [Andrea Levy] ¹ Small Island || [Travel Book] PDF ↠
      355 Andrea Levy
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Andrea Levy] ¹ Small Island || [Travel Book] PDF ↠
      Posted by:Andrea Levy
      Published :2018-010-14T08:04:01+00:00

    About "Andrea Levy"

      • Andrea Levy

        In 1948 Andrea Levy s father sailed from Jamaica to England on the Empire Windrush ship and her mother joined him soon after Andrea was born in London in 1956, growing up black in what was still a very white England This experience has given her a complex perspective on the country of her birth.Andrea Levy did not begin writing until she was in her mid thirties At that time there was little written about the black British experience in Britain After attending writing workshops Levy began to write the novels that she, as a young woman, had always wanted to read entertaining novels that reflect the experiences of black Britons, that look closely and perceptively at Britain and its changing population and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean In her first three novels she explored from different perspectives the problems faced by black British born children of Jamaican emigrants In her first novel, the semi autobiographical Every Light in the House Burnin 1994 , the story is of a Jamaican family living in London in the 1960s Never Far from Nowhere 1996 , her second, is set during the 1970s and tells the story of two very different sisters living on a London council estate In Fruit of the Lemon 1999 , Faith Jackson, a young black woman, visits Jamaica after suffering a nervous breakdown and discovers a previously unknown personal historyIn her fourth novel Small Island Levy examines the experiences of those of her father s generation who returned to Britain after being in the RAF during the Second World War But than just the story of the Jamaicans who came looking for a new life in the Mother Country, she explores the adjustments and problems faced by the English people whom those Jamaicans came to live amongst Immigration changes everyone s lives and in Small Island Levy examines not only the conflicts of two cultures thrown together after a terrible war, but also the kindness and strength people can show to each other The Second World War was a great catalyst that has led to the multi cultural society Britain has become For Andrea Levy acknowledging the role played by all sides in this change is an important part of understanding the process so we can go on to create a better future together.In her latest novel, The Long Song, Levy goes further back to the origins of that intimacy between Britain and the Caribbean The book is set in early 19th century Jamaica during the last years of slavery and the period immediately after emmancipation It is the story of July, a house slave on a sugar plantation named Amity The story is narrated by the character of July herself, now an old woman, looking back upon her eventful life.Andrea Levy is a Londoner She not only lives and works in the city she loves but has used London as the setting in many of her novels She has been a recipient of an Arts Council Award and her second novel Never Far from Nowhere was long listed for the Orange Prize Small Island was the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread Novel Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year award, the Orange Best of the Best, and the Commonwealth Writer s Prize Her latest novel The Long Song was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, and was the winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Besides novels she has also written short stories that have been read on radio, published in newspapers and anthologised She has been a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, Orange Futures and the Saga Prize.


    1. Books like this are why I study English literature at university, books like this are why I read so ferociously. Ferocious reading? Now that’s an interesting image. But, honestly, I’m careful when I read. I wouldn’t want to scratch those pages! But, I’m digressing here. This book is an eye-opener; it is an excellent teacher of part of English cultural history. Could you imagine fighting for a country not your own, and then being treated by the citizens of that country like dirt? Those yo [...]

    2. I loved this book, but I realize that I am very biased because I am Jamaican, and have many relatives who emigrated to the UK from Jamaica, so the characters were immediately real and recognizable to me. Some reviewers have complained that her use of dialect was heavy-handed, but from my perspective, she actually tones down Jamaican Patois (also called Jamaican Creole) significantly to make it understandable to non-Jamaicans. On a visit to Jamaica last year, I heard her interviewed and she said [...]

    3. Onvan : Small Island - Nevisande : Andrea Levy - ISBN : 312424671 - ISBN13 : 9780312424671 - Dar 441 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2004

    4. Almost seventy years ago, on 22nd June 1948, the passenger ship HMT “Empire Windrush” sailed into London’s Tilbury docks. Several of these large troop ships had been acquired at the end of the Second World War by the British government, and all were renamed “Empire”, followed by the name of a river; in this case a little river in Oxfordshire. But the word “Windrush” came to symbolise something far greater. It was to give its name to an entire generation of people, all of whom had e [...]

    5. Fantastic novel, a real eye opener! Small Island is a novel that connects continents in wartime. It takes the reader from Jamaica to England and on to India in the days of the second World War. Four main characters connect the dots. A Gilbert, a young Jamaican who joins the RAF to fight Hitler but finds himself fighting racism instead; Queenie, a young white woman who takes in Jamaican Lodgers; her husband Bernard, who is fighting the Japs in India; and the Jamaican girl Hortense, who travels to [...]

    6. I wanted to enjoy this book because I am a West Indian now and did the reverse journey - first world UK to backward little Caribbean island, but the journey was a lot more enjoyable than the book.I finished it by an act of will and apart from odd scenes of violence or lasciviousness, it didn't hold my attention. It was such an easy read that the pages flowed into each other leaving no trace on my brain at all. Like the sea washing the sand clean with each wave, so did each page disappear from my [...]

    7. Mixed feelings about this one; read very easily and the historical context is one that interests me. However it did not really do what I thought it set out do, which was to chronicle the early years of the Windrush generation. There are four narrators; Hortense and Gilbert from Jamaica and Queenie and Bernard who are English (although Bernard feels like a bit of an add on, arriving in the last quarter of the book). That makes the book feel a little disjointed. A great deal of time is also spent [...]

    8. I'm trying to figure out my reaction to this book, other than the fact that I loved it. I have a hard time putting into words my feelings about this book.Small Island is the story of four people in the aftermath of WW II. Levy is concerned with the experience of immigrants and racial issues in post War London.I dont think the story could have been told in a shorter span, and it is one of those that you understand why it won the awards that it did. I didn't find the dialect annoying or hard to fo [...]

    9. A well researched, well written book with surprising twists and turns. The author manages to show compassion for all the characters and write the story in such a way that this international bestseller speaks toa very wide audience. The humor is the the glue which keeps the story riveting and a delight to read despite the hardships and dire circumstances the characters had to endure. Hortense Joseph, an immigrant from Jamaica, settles in London in 1948, after leaving her beloved island for a bett [...]

    10. Having now completed the book, below is recorded both how I reacted as I read and at the book’s conclusion. So far I have read about half and am letting off steam.I am having trouble with the following:1.Hortense. I cannot stand this woman; she is so uppity and thinks she is better than everyone else. I don't yet feel empathy for any of the other characters either.2.I do not appreciate the time shifts. I understand that in this way we are to get a deeper idea of the characters' pasts, and thus [...]

    11. Wow. I wish that could be my entire review. It feels like "wow" should be sufficient. But in the interest of getting this book into the hands of as many people as possible, I'll attempt to do this book some justice. With NO Spoilers. No worries.This is not a book I would normally choose to read. (I read it with a book group.) The description made it seem depressing, and just too "heavy" for me. However, Andrea Levy is such a gifted writer that she is able to breathe humor into even desolate circ [...]

    12. [4.5] Middlebrow fiction as it should be done: entertaining, readable but not without substance; a book you still look forward to picking up when you're using most of your spare time for things other than reading. Levy makes this kind of writing look easy, but there must be a lot of paddling going on under the surface to make the novel glide so smoothly. No surprise that this was made into a BBC drama - it certainly has that Sunday evening TV feel: characters are entirely believeable as personal [...]

    13. Story around the ship The Windrush, told through the eyes of two Jamaicans and a British couple and in two distinct times (1948 and "before"). Hortense, the main narrator to begin with, is interesting but unsympathetic (very snobbish and judges people by how dark their skin is). Interesting glimpse into the different ways black people were viewed and treated by US forces, British forces and various British civilians, which is different again from Bernard's views of India and its inhabitants. Lin [...]

    14. Well, it was pretty good. It has a lot of heart. Levy is a writer who sometimes teases the reader by dangling a big splodgy sentimental cliche in front of them only to swerve round it at the last moment. She's no fool. I've been looking for novels about immigrants, I read The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (which was kind of a drag) and I have Petropolis sitting on my shelf (hope that will be better). (Further suggestions welcomed). Small Island is about (two) Jamaicans coming to 1948 London [...]

    15. Rating: 2.5* of fiveThis woman and I are not a good fit. I read and loathed The Long Song, finding it tedious and contrived. I got this excrescence out of the library because I thought it unfair to judge an author by one book. Hell, I even gave EGGERS more than one book.Small Island is a mean-spirited, judgmental, and sarcastic book. In the guise of "telling it like it is", Levy manages to make the reader detest every single person she describes as a narrow, unkind, worthless human being. I know [...]

    16. Andrea Levy's Small Island is a book about misconceptions of identity and race during World War II era Britain. The story revolves around Jamaicans who move to England as they believe they are "British" as they feel entitled to all the Mother Country has to offer. What they realize is that not everything is as it may seem. The best feature of this book is the way Levy tries to explain "colonial politics." During the height of colonialism, European rulers instructed their subjects in Africa, Asia [...]

    17. What happens when young Jamaican men join the war effort for Britain against Germany? The Jamaicans are educated and consider themselves part of the British empire and children of the mother country of England. Unfortunately the people of England doesn't seem to recognize the Jamaicans; they don't know where Jamaica is and to them Jamaicans are just black people, inferior to white. Prejudice, alive and well in 1948 Britain.In this story we follow Gilbert and Hortense, a Jamaican couple; and Bern [...]

    18. I heard Andrea Levy on ‘Desert Island Discs’ the other week (cue Paul Bryant spitting tea over his keyboard at the mention of that hated middle class institution. Although quite how a character in Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel gets off on being such a class warrior, God only knows). She was charming and amusing and it occurred to me with shame that I’d never actually read any of her work – particularly as ‘Small Island’ has been on my to-do list since publication. And now having pe [...]

    19. I first encountered Small Island three years ago as a television drama done by the BBC. Its title music was ‘Over the Rainbow’ rendered in jaunty calypso style. Very apt, as it encapsulated protagonist Hortense’s rosy dream of life in the Mother Country. It was no Downton-style romanticisation of the past though. This was harsh cruel post-WW2 reality. It moved me deeply, and partly inspired my own literary effort on a similar subject. So reading Andrea Levy’s fine book now, I had some fo [...]

    20. I thought "Small Island" would be good since it won not only the Orange Prize (Britain's literary contest for women writers) but something called "The Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best." Not to mention the Commonwealth Writers' prize and a bunch of other awards. And I was right - I devoured this book. Levy's amazing storytelling sucks you in from the beginning and makes you care about the characters, Jamaican immigrants to "the Mother Country" of England right after World War II, and a [...]

    21. Around the world = Jamaica.Levy weaves together the stories of four characters, each a part of a forgotten story of post-war Britain and the Commonwealth. Hortense, a product of a colonial upbringing where her light skin and education set her above other Jamaicans; Gilbert, a former RAF serviceman returned to England on the Empire Windrush; Queenie, surviving by any means possible on the home front, and then as a woman on her own in post-war London; and Bernard, ignorant and narrow-minded, fight [...]

    22. The story mainly takes place in 1948 UK. It is told from different character's perceptions. Hortense is a Jamaican teacher who aspires to become a "high class teacher in the UK." Gilbert is the Jamaican man she weds to get herself there. Queenie is a beautiful white British woman who takes in boarders when she believes that her husband has died in the war. Bernard is Queenie's bigoted husband, who joins the RAF to avoid the draft and is stationed in India where he ends up fighting. The story m [...]

    23. I'm going to come back to this review at a later time. There were parts of this book that I found absolutely brilliant but as it neared its end, I was more than ready to move on to the next book. I need to reflect a little and figure out why.Part of it, I suspect, is the unevenness of the narrators (there are four). The postwar Jamaican immigrants -- Hortense and Gilbert -- were beautifully conceived. Andrea Levy has much to say about emigrants settling in post World War II Britain -- the overbl [...]

    24. Even if the storyline was a little naive sometimes I have to give this book five starts because it was beautiful and I couldn't put it down.

    25. England. 1948. The atmosphere is one of dilapidation as the country recovers from the effects of World War II. Many buildings and establishments have been destroyed and provisions have suffered as goods are barely rationed to the community. Multitudes of soldiers are also returning home to a devastated country, as well as a poor economy. However, to the residents of the Caribbean Islands, England is look upon as a land of promise and prosperity. Small Island is author Andrea Levy’s critically [...]

    26. This marvellous book that has sat in the to-read for far too long (almost 10 years, it’s a big to-read pile). Its unpacking of the post-war experience and the lives of West Indies migrants balances both the subtleties of change and dislocation, of expectation and disappointment, and the blatant confrontations with Britain’s presumptions of its standing (and Briton’s presumptions of theirs). The characters are well drawn, thoroughly plausible and engaging. Levy’s presentation of the story [...]

    27. This historical novel took me a mighty long time to read, and the delay was not because Small Island was deadly boring or badly written. I liked this book, but at the same time I have mixed feelings about the characters. Maybe they were a little too "ordinary" for my tastes, OR perhaps since I focus much of my reading on works and characters set in Africa and the Middle East, maybe they were a little too Western for me. Still despite my mixed feelings I loved this novel's optimism and humor. Thi [...]

    28. 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 Bligh – find their way in circumstances neither ever considered. They share a desire to better themselves, but fail to recognize their common goals and instead focus on their differences. Queenie grabbed at a chance to leave her life on a farm and hastily married a boring banker, but her husband [...]

    29. Told in alternating narratives by four persons in both 1948 London and the time ‘before’, this is a story of race, colonialism, imperialism, sexuality and war. The story is about Hortense and her husband Gilbert from Jamaica who move to London and about Queenie Bligh and her husband Bernard, a white couple in London. Bernard goes off to war so Queenie takes in boarders, mostly black, including Gilbert. Gilbert, a Jamaican who joined the RAF to defend the mother country during WWII brings ove [...]

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