From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands
Levy’s previous novel, “Small Island,” examined the lives of Jamaican immigrants in Britain in the nineteen-forties. Here she depicts the next generation: the London-born children, circa 1970, who grapple with the knowledge that they are often still considered outsiders. Faith, working as a dresser for children’s television, is a somewhat heedless young woman whose assumption that she lives in a color-blind world is quickly demolished. At work, she finds that the only actors she’s allowed to touch are dolls; soon afterward, she helps a black woman who has been attacked by three youths. Her concerned parents send her to Jamaica, where she slowly recovers a sense of balance and uncovers her family’s past. Faith’s initial obliviousness to prejudice makes the first half of the book feel implausible; but, once the narrative moves to Jamaica, Levy’s remarkable ability to weave a complex, engrossing family history takes over.