16. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Historical Fiction, Tracy

Small Island by Andrea Levy, 439 pages, read by Tracy, on 09/16/2012

They use to say “The sun never sets on the British Empire”. During World War II Jamaica was part of the British Commonwealth.  Children in schools were taught to speak English and learned all about England’s history. When Hortense and Gilbert Joseph move to London after the war they are confused and angered by the treatment they get because they have dark skin. Gilbert served in the RAF and knew the Yanks didn’t want them. But this was England and they were British subjects. They live in a boarding house with other Jamaican’s because of the kindness of Queenie Bligh. Her husband Bernard joined the military but never came back when the war ended. Each chapter in this book is written from the perspective of each of these four characters. Prejudice is confusing to me. If a country is at war then what does it matter the color of your skin if you volunteer to help. This book won several awards. It made me angry and sad at times. But that’s what makes it a good book.

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