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Small Island

Levy, Andrea

20,436 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0755307496 / ISBN 13: 9780755307494
Published by Review, London, 2002
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From anglimm books (Truro, United Kingdom)

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About this Item

First printing. Dedication on half-title page: refering to title 'Small Island' 'But a wonderfu island, best wishes on your 50th birthday, Peace and Love, Tony and Lobel Bullimore (he of yacht racing and sinking fame). Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000576

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Small Island

Publisher: Review, London

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Blue Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Hortense shared Gilbert's dream of leaving Jamaica and coming to England to start a better life. But when she at last joins her husband, she is shocked by London's shabbiness and horrified at the way the English live. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was. Queenie's neighbours do not approve of her choice of tenants, and neither would her husband, were he there. Through the stories of these people, Small Island explores a point in England's past when the country began to change.


Andrea Levy's award-winning novel, Small Island, deftly brings two bleak families into crisp focus. First a Jamaican family, including the well-intentioned Gilbert, who can never manage to say or do exactly the right thing; Romeo Michael, who leaves a wake of women in his path; and finally, Hortense, whose primness belies her huge ambition to become English in every way possible. The other unhappy family is English, starting with Queenie, who escapes the drudgery of being a butcher's daughter only to marry a dull banker. As the chapters reverse chronology and the two groups collide and finally mesh, the book unfolds through time like a photo album, and Levy captures the struggle between class, race, and sex with a humor and tenderness that is both authentic and bracing. The book is cinematic in the best way--lighting up London's bombed-out houses and wartime existence with clarity and verve while never losing her character's voice or story. --Meg Halverson

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