Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. She is the author of four other novels, including Every Light in the House Burning (1995), Never Far from Nowhere (1996), Fruit of the Lemon (1999), and Small Island (2005). Small Island won both the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best. Selling over a million copies worldwide, Small Island was also adapted for the small screen in a critically acclaimed series that aired on BBC and will debut on PBS's Masterpiece Classic on April 18 and 25, 2010. Levy lives in London.
It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun.
Gilbert Joseph was one of thousands of Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian, he finds himself treated very differently.
He and his wife Hortense have come in hopes of a new and better life. But London, shabby and decrepit, is far from the golden city of their dreams.
In desperation, Gilbert calls on a wartime friend for help. And Queenie Bligh, against her better judgment, takes them in.
Her neighbours do not approve of her lodgers. But Queenie doesn’t know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?