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Small Island

Levy, Andrea

19,485 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0755331265 / ISBN 13: 9780755331260
Published by Headline/Review, London, 2005
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Friends of the Lubbock Public Library (Lubbock, TX, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Not ex-library copy. Light rubbing to cover along with minor bumps to corners. Signed by author on the title page. Ribbon page marker intact. Text is very tight as well as unblemished. A very nice copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 018029

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Small Island

Publisher: Headline/Review, London

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Signed: By Author

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

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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