A moving tale set in Jamaica during the last years of slavery from Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy. You do not know me yet. My son Thomas, who is publishing this book, tells me, it is customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.
July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was also present when slavery was declared no more. My son says I must convey how the story tells also of July's mama Kitty, of the negroes that worked the plantation land, of Caroline Mortimer the white woman who owned the plantation and many more persons besides - far too many for me to list here. But what befalls them all is carefully chronicled upon these pages for you to peruse.
Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a book they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.
©2010 Andrea Levy (P)2010 Headline Audiobooks
I read Small Island by Andrea Levy when it was first published and really enjoyed it. It reminded me of some of the stories my grandparents had shared with me of their arrival here in the UK from Jamaica. I had hoped I would enjoy The Long Song as much but I found it a real effort to break into. I'm now 5 chapters in, having re-started the book three times, and I'm now retiring my efforts. I found Andrea's narration grating. I'm going to get a hardcopy of the book and read it for myself and see if that improves my enjoyment or maybe it's just that this book isn't for me.
I suspected that I might find this reading difficult before I chose it as one of the readers, Andrea Levy, has a strong accent and I struggle to follow this easily. However, as I have loved all Andrea Levy's other books I eventually decided to give it a try especially as the story is about her life and experiences. I have started the book 4 times but not been able to finish it. the heavy accent was so hard going that I could not concentrate and kept losing the thread of the tale. I just had to give up.
"A brilliantly funny and tragic story"
Wow what a performance, Andrea Levy delivers a captivating narration of her novel. Levy has written a masterfully conceived narrative, with a surprising tone. one of the best audiobook experiences I've had.
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