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It ​is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun.
Queenie Bligh’s neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but with her husband, Bernard, not back from the war, what else can she do?
Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. Gilbert’s wife Hortense, too, had long to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was.
Small island explores a point in England’s past when the country began to change. In this delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel, Andrea Levy handles the weighty themes of empire, prejudice, war and love, with a superb lightness of touch and generosity of spirit.

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