Small Island: Winner of the ‘best of the best’ Orange Prize
by Andrea Levy
Editor: Headline Publishing Group
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Small island by the author to Andrea Levy wins the Orange Award for Fiction, but also many other awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the WhitbreadNow a major BBC drama, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, his appeal will seduce fans of Maya Angelou and Zadie Smith.”An excellent readinghonest, skillful, thoughtful and important’ – GuardianIt is 1948, and England recovers from warBut at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun.Queenie Bligh’s neighbors do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican residents, but Queenie does not know when her husband will be back, or if he will return at all.What can she do?Gilbert Joseph was one of several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight Hitler.Back in England as a civilian, that he finds himself very differently.It’s the despair that reminds her of a wartime friendship with Queenie and knocking on her door.Gilbert Hortense’s wife, too, wanted to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England.But when she joins him, she is shocked to discover London’s pathetic, crumbling, and far from the golden city of her dreams.Even Gilbert’s not the man she thought he was.
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