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Small Island

by Andrea Levy

This is an excellently crafted novel which tells the story of four characters just after the second World War. The contexts are battered London and Jamaica. The book examines the serious topics of racism, bigotry and ignorance that prevailed at that time- but there is much humour, in depth characterisation and skilful storytelling. A brilliant twist at the end!

Suggested by Margaret, Bristol

Tagged with: beginning brilliant characterisation enjoyable fire-side gripping hilarious humourous, lovely moving read slow

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Wonderful fire-side read. I really felt part of the whole book. Great twist at the end. The strenght of Queen's character was alos nice to see and gave and understaning of how women adapted and coped in the war. Unfortunately I missed the TV adaptation recntly as I would have loved to compare the book with the screening.
I'm slightly surprised at the lack of comment on the humour in this book, as I thought that parts of it were absolutely hilarious even when dealing with the difficult subject of racism in 1950's Britain.The experience of the West Indian community in post-war Britain can be partly explained by the ignorance of the indigenous population, who probably never saw themselves as racist. This, of course, can be explained by a lack of education among other things. I wonder what the 21st century racists excuse is?
This book would definately be in my top fifty best reads. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Time, place and feelings prevalent were captured so well and that lovely Jamaican voice was entirely credible. It has humour and pathos in equal measure, the best and worst of humanity is brilliantly evoked throughout its pages. Janet, Lisburn
I loved this book! At first I was't sure exactly what I felt, then could not put it down!
I agree with what Sarah says, you have to be in the mood to read this book, but i'm glad i persevered because it was an easy read once i got started. The book flows amazing well, so much so, that as a reader, you don't even realise you've read as much as 500 pages! I found Bernard's dad quite amusing and the characters had a lot of warmth to them. I initially read this on a course at university whilst studying for my English degree. It's a must-read for anyone interested in Caribbean literature in the twentieth century.
I absolutely loved this book. The depictions of the racism prevalent in post-war Britain were absolutely staggering. The characters really came to life for me and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
Kim Percival - Heanor Bookchat
I didn't find this book gripping and consequently gave up on it, maybe I didn't give it long enough or perhaps just wasn't in the right mood for that particular read.
Sarah, Devon

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