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Island life

The BBC’s adaptation of the novel Small Island will be a challenge, but Richard Sudan is looking forward to it.

The BBC will soon be bringing the heart warming tale of a group of Jamaicans adapting to life in London. Yet the BBC have their work cut out if they are to do this novel justice.

Small Island is a tale charting an emotional ride for Queenie, a white landlady, and her new tenants Jamaican immigrants all living under one roof in the cold grey East End of just about post war London. But it also tackles multiple themes with more than one sub-plot.

It is a page turner and Levy combines weaving a tale which would warm even to the coldest of hearts, with complex issues like the racism directed toward West Indian immigrants, marriage, war, and the perception of England viewed through the lens of people from the Caribbean.

Apart from weaving a fascinating tale Levy deals with these themes with the skill of a seasoned vet. The book has more twists than Peter Mandleson’s political career, and at times will leave the reader close to tears or laughing out loud.

The prevailing theme however, is that no matter where we are from we are all human. The real star character of the book is the dialogue between the characters depicting them dealing with the issues they face in often funny circumstances.

This book is testament to the common thread running through us.

We look forward to watching the BBC’s depiction of this award winning book (2004 Orange Prize) which is set to include an all array of talented actors including Naomi Harris (pictured above), David Oyelowo, and Ruth Wilson.

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