While selective TV viewing, I found Small Island showing on PBS and couldn't change the channel. I'm glad I didn't. What a delight to see Jamaicans portrayed with the dignity and class that most Jamaican's deserve. The acting was superb and I felt a kinship to all the characters, African and European. I was tempted to buy the book and finally purchased a book and DVD for my sister. The video with the narrative gave voice to the book and sensitivity to the subject. At the time, I felt no need to read the book, and enjoyed every moment of advice, cliches', antidote's and consciousness of love, life & passion that swept through every scene.
The revelations on the colonial history of Jamaica and the affection Jamaican's felt to the "Motherland" aka England, made the teachings of Marcus Garvey and the music of Bob Marley, even more relevant. It's no wonder Marcus Garvey was not accepted in Jamaica as he was preaching for Africans in Jamaica to look to Africa as the Motherland.
The struggles Jamaicans went through to live and be accepted in England after World War 2 is something that many people are not aware of, thank you Ms. Levy. I really love this movie and will share it with many friends, for its history and as a great love story that touches the heart on the many levels of joy and sorrow.
I absolutely loved the entire story, until the end. It left me with a sad question. Why didn't Queenie give Hortense the photo of the baby's father, she had it...but she sent her photo along with the baby? Hortense wouldn't of been too shocked, and maybe even finally happy (other than getting the material things) to know the child was the son of her childhood sweetheart. It was another eurocentric case of killing the black man's legacy. The ending as is, will lead to a great book club discussion. It is my humble opinion and remains a travesty that some Africans/Jamaicans/Americans desire to uplift and emulate European culture, at all cost, fact or fiction. The author, while giving homage to her paternal grandmother, (Queenie aka or symbolically England, the other Small Island) sadly, loses the memory of the child's paternal Jamaican roots. Over all it is a story well told and acted out by all involved.