novel set mostly in World War II Britain, focusing on 4 characters--two born in England, two born in Jamaica but thinking of Britain as the "Mother Country;" portrays believable clash of cultures with well-rounded characters, flawed but likable; very funny in spots
Excellent novel. If you liked Zadie Smith's White Teeth, you'll love this book.
This book earmarked Andrea Levy as a major literary talent. This book certainly deserves the awards it's won, and it far exceeded my expectations. The title encompasses both the physical land and the mind set of many of the personalities in this noteworthy book. The characters all have a bitter sweetness that took me off guard many times. I prepared to explain Hortense with two or three flippant adjectives until the end of the book when her sweetness overcame the bitter qualities that had been her trademark until then. Gilbert showed a protectiveness of Hortense and a humor about himself that made him extremely likeable, while Queenie's wisdom and selflessness at the end of the book ensured that a child would grow up whole rather than shattered. If there is a message contained in this book, I think it is that humanity cannot be pigeon-holed by something as unimportant as race, color or creed. All of us are flawed, all of us are perfect. I loved this book - it is well worth reading and then reflecting on its meanings.
A story of Jamaican immigrants in post WWII London, this book looks at the unmet expectations of returning soldiers as well as the tarnished realities of a promised land. The author was born in England of Jamaican parents and writes with honesty and a "hole in the bucket" humor.
Good WWII story and the problems of Jamaicans trying to make it in post WWII Britian