Small Island

I just finished Small Island by Andrea Levy.

 This book was a delight to read.

 From the start I had trouble putting it down.

 This is the kind of book you finish and you say, “Already?”

The characters are so well drawn I could see them.

The dialogue so clear I could hear the beautiful, lilting Jamaican accent.

I learned a thing or two about the Jamaicans who served  in the RAF during World War II,

 and  subsequently became British immigrants and ultimately, British citizens.

The Brits treated their Black airman better than the Americans,

 still it was,

 difficult.

Two of the main characters are very strong women.

Queenie, a butcher’s daughter who marries,

 Bernard, a weak, little man who is not nearly enough man for her.

The other main female character is, Hortense,

 a recent teacher’s college graduate from Jamaica.

Both are wonderfully brave and strong.

Hortense and Gilbert, her husband, have been raised in colonial Jamaica

 to know everything about England. When they arrive,

they, the English, don’t even know where Jamaica is ,

most think it in,

 Africa.

This resonates with me as a Canadian.

We long were a colony of Great Britain, who knew not much about us either.

Even today, we live in the shadow of the most dominant culture on the planet, the U.S.

How much do you think the average American knows about Canada?

I know it is less than the average Canadian knows about the U.S.

This book is smart, funny and also very touching.

There are no saints and no devils, only scared people who have been though Hell.

Some rise to the occasion better than others.

It also leaves you wondering,

which is the Small Island?

Really good read

well, later girls

BB

Published by

Bookish Butch

I am a bookish butch in my very early fifties. I live in Montréal and always have. I used to run a small used bookstore. Reading keeps me sane. My latest jiggie is photography, book project in the works, living the dream

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