Small island: A Novel

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It is 1948 in an England still shaken by war. At 21 Nevern Street, London, Queenie Bligh takes into her house lodgers who have recently arrived from Jamaica. What else could she do when her husband, Bernard, never returned from his RAF wartime posting to India? Among her tenants are Gilbert and his new wife Hortense. Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England after the war he finds himself treated very differently now that he is no longer in a blue uniform. Desperation makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Hortense shared Gilbert's dream of leaving Jamaica and coming to England to start a better life. But when she at last joins her husband, she is shocked by London's shabbiness and horrified at the way the English live. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was.

Queenie's neighbours do not approve of her choice of tenants, and neither would her husband, were he there. Through the stories of these people, SMALL ISLAND explores a point in England's past when the country began to change.

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Level 5.1, 23 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID afebb154-ee41-1fe7-3df4-ac4c00e67aba
Grouping Title small island
Grouping Author levy andrea
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-10-21 23:17:45PM
Last Indexed 2019-10-21 16:39:24PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 23
accelerated_reader_reading_level 5.1
author Levy, Andrea, 1956-
author_display Levy, Andrea
collection_catalog Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Fiction
Main Library - Adult Fiction

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.

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format_category_catalog Books
id afebb154-ee41-1fe7-3df4-ac4c00e67aba
isbn 9780312424671
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lexile_score 780
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog Fiction Levy
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Green Hills
Green Hills Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
primary_isbn 9780312424671
publishDate 2005
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000240644 Book Books 1st Picador ed. English Picador, 2005. 441 p. ; 21 cm.
overdrive:c85906e2-eef0-497b-8bff-57c97eb1e1a6 eBook eBook English Picador 2010
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subject_facet Jamaicans -- England -- London -- 20th century -- Fiction
London (England) -- Social conditions -- 20th century -- Fiction
title_display Small island
title_full Small Island A Novel
Small island / Andrea Levy
title_short Small island
title_sub A Novel
topic_facet Fiction
Historical Fiction
Social conditions