The first printing of the first edition, 2014
First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 20.5 × 15.5cm, 441pp.
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 don't approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but with her husband, Bernard, not back from the war, she has little choice in the matter. Gilbert Joseph was one of the many Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight Hitler. But when he returns to England as a civilian he doesn't receive the welcome he was expecting, and it's desperation that drives him to knock at Queenie's door. Gilbert's wife Hortense, who for years has longed for a better life in England, soon joins him. But London is far from the golden city of her dreams, and 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.
The book is in good plus condition, with some very light spotted foxing to the page edges. The dustwrapper has some minor surface abrasion but remains very good and has not been price-clipped.