Amy's Reviews > Small Island

Small Island by Andrea Levy
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's review
Nov 01, 2009

really liked it
Read in October, 2009

I have just picked up this book after noticing an upcoming dramatisation, and I really love it. I think the author makes the three central characters likeable but realistic, they all have their flaws. I warmed to Queenie especially and found some of her dialogue laugh out loud.

I tend to agree with other reviews about Bernard, he does seem to come out of nowhere, and I can't find anything to like about him, although this allows more sympathy to Queenie, who has married him to escape the trappings of one life as a dutiful daughter, only to be suffocated and suppressed in another role as Bernards wife.

As regards to Hortense I felt dismay on her experiences of England, although unfortunately they were probably all too true, the same for Gilbert, and I don't think the dialect was hard to understand, I think the author painted an accurate picture and it added to the whole armosphere of the book.

The lessons from this book are still relevant, and as a British citizen I feel ashamed at the treatment of people like Gilbert and Hortense. I would reccomend this book.
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message 1: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Mcdermott Hi there Amy

Would you like to put a question to Andrea Levy herself about Small Island? BBC World Book Club is interviewing her on Tuesday 8th December and would love to hear from you. If you could email me at as soon as you can with your question about the book (anything - doesn't have to be particularly clever!), we can either arrange for you to talk to the woman herself, or have our presenter put your question to Andrea for you. Then you get to hear your question on World Service Radio! Please get in touch soonest, including where you are in the world.

Thanks, and all the best.

Ruth McDermott, BBC World Book Club

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