ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Small Island

Updated on September 28, 2014

My Review of Small Island

This novel is a biopic of four lives affected by World War II. This story centers around the lives of four people who want to better themselves each in their own way.

In 1940s England, Queenie and Bernard Bligh are starting out in life together, but it's more of a convenience for Queenie but Bernard is in love. In Jamaica, Hortense Roberts has always dreamed of living in England and to get there, she makes a deal with Gilbert Joseph to get her off her small island.

This book is compelling, well written, and a glimpse of World War II and beyond. The lives revolve around another man that drifts in and out of the story, keeping it suspenseful and engaging.

Photo Credit: Amazon Small Island: A Novel

Small Island - Powerful Story of Personal Lifes in World War II

The Four Main Characters of Small Island

Small Island's four main characters follow:

Hortense Roberts, a Jamaican woman who has dreamed of leaving Jamaica for the Mother Country, England. She is proper and strives to speak well. Here's one example of her extreme use of proper English. She has just arrived in England and is at the doorstep of the house where Gilbert, her husband is living. "I have not seen Gilbert," I told her, then went on to ask, "but this is perchance where he is aboding?"

Gilbert Joseph is a young Jamaican man who served his country in the RAF during World War II. He is continually frustrated at the way he is treated both during and after the war for the color of his skin. He marries Hortense when she offers to pay his way to England after the war. As long as she can come along later.

Queenie Bligh is a young woman from a rural pig farm who escaped to her aunt's in London. When her aunt dies, Queenie resorts to marrying Bernard, a man in love with her, but who she barely tolerates. While Bernard is away during the war, Queenie takes in lodgers to earn money.

Bernard Bligh is a proper (stuffy) Englishman who is a tad wimpy and knows it. He has a secret and does not return home to Queenie when the war is over. For two years he hides out an hour away, but he finally returns home and all hell breaks loose.

In 2004, Small Island won Britain's Orange Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread Book of the Year.

Your turn - Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

Have you read Small Island? What did you think of it?

What did you think?

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

See results

Andrea Levy: Author of Small Island

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. She is the author of five novels:

~ Every Light in the House Burning (1995)

~ Never Far from Nowhere (1996)

~ Fruit of the Lemon (1999)

~ Small Island (2005)

~ The Long Song (2010)

Small Island won both the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best and Whitbread Book of the Year Award.

Small Island World Book Night 2012

The novel Small Island was one of the 25 books to be part of the World Book Night 2012.

Small Island - Masterpiece Classic DVD

The movie Small Island follows the novel by the same name closely. Of course, there is no way for a movie to cover every thought and background detail provided in a book like this, but this movie by Masterpiece Classic was exceptional.

I read the book (finished it on a Friday night) then watched the movie the next morning. That is one of my favorite things to do!

Watch the Small Island Trailer

England - The Mother Country

Jamaica - Travel Books to Take You There

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Does Small Island sound like your kind of book?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't read the book, but I thank you for sparking my interest more than a little. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)