Small Island – Andrea Levy

This book which had been hailed by many was not one that had caught my attention, in fact if I had seen it chances might have been I would have passed right by, however the Book Group choose it so I read it, and pleasantly surprised I was too.

The characters stories are told out in the first person, for the most, and through their stories and experiences we learn about prejudice, preconceptions, discontentment, pride, patriotism, duty and the power of the human spirit to endure and adapt.

Dealing chiefly with post-war immigration and racial prejudice the book weaves a careful and clever tale, never being condescending despite the subject matter and with enough wit that I found myself laughing out loud in places.  Queenie, Gilbert, Hortense and Bernard all have their stories to tell from Jamaica to England, from India to America, we can read of the background of these people lives that lead them to the be in the same house in London in 1948.  The book is easy to read and draws you in to want to know more, we were all left speculating about what happened to the characters once the book ended.

We would certainly all recommend it.

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