Thursday, March 8

Book: Small Island, Andrea Levy Click for more info

Now this is more like it. A book that is such a pleasure to read that you really don't want it to end. And if I'm getting ahead of myself it's only because I loved this book so much.

The story is essentially about the immigration to England of a married Jamaican couple during postwar Britain and the landlady who receives them. This sounds simple enough but the real power of the book comes from how multi-dimensional it is, as it covers first party accounts from multiple characters, and then that over a number of different periods in and out of the war.

It sounds complicated, but it's all done so expertly that it easily flows like a more linear book recounted by a single person. Levy's talent therefore is that of an actor, the ability to single-handedly recreate multiple characters (including dialect, personality and some amazing characterisation) in multiple times and situations in a single book. That's something that's pretty impressive actually.

The story itself is a prop to the characters, but still manages to be funny, informative, poignant and tragic. I don't know much about Jamaica now let alone during the war, so I pretty much lapped it all up out of curiosity.

Small Island is a lovely book, a brilliant read and an example of how all books should be written. I can't recommend it enough.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this book! You need to watch the BBC adaptation of this now, not as good as the book but still great.