logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA
Irish Culture
Home Finance


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g British Television Site

BellaOnline's British Television Editor

g

Small Island

Guest Author - Joanna Czechowska

I read Andrea Levyís novel Small Island a few years ago and really loved it. It joins the ranks of books about different immigrant groups who have come to Britain since the last war. Brick Lane by Monica Ali was about immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka about Ukrainians, my own novel The Black Madonna of Derby about Polish immigrants and Levyís take on the arrival of immigrants from Jamaica.

As the story skips back and forth in time and place between England and Jamaica, I wondered how the adaptation would fare. I was not disappointed. Set before, during and after the Second World War, the BBCís version of Small Island is a brilliant realisation of the novel.

Hortense (played by Naomie Harris) is a young girl living in Jamaica. She is illegitimate and forced on the kindness of strangers, yet she is proud, very ambitious and is determined to fulfil her dream. Queenie, (Ruth Wilson) a young girl who has come down to London from her parentsí northern pig farm to live with her aunt, is also proud, ambitious and determined to fulfil her dream. Both girls marry men they do not love in order to realise their hopes.

Charming but irresponsible Michael (Ashley Walter, late of Hustle) is loved by Hortense but he joins the war effort and ends up in England where is billeted at the home of Queenie. In the meantime, Queenie has married stiff and boring Bernard (Benedict Cumberbatch) in order that she can stay in London and not return to the hated pig farm. Add kindly, idealistic Gilbert (David Oyelowo), who Hortense marries after the war just so she can come with him to England, into the mix and you have a complex pentagon of love, lust and ambition.

The story moves from hot, dusty, colourful Jamaica to austere wartime England with its streets blacked-out to fool the bombers, food rationing and ever-present danger of death. Michael arrives and lonely, affection-starved Queenie has a romantic night with him before he is posted away.

Gilbert is sent to the north of England and comes full of idealism to help the Mother Country. He meets Queenie, who has returned home temporarily to avoid the bombs, and she treats him with kindness. Elsewhere, though, he experiences hostility and racism. When Gilbert and Queenie stand together in a queue for the cinema, American GIís shout at him to get back with the other blacks. Gilbert shouts, ĎIím not American, Iím Jamaican and there is no racial segregation here. I can stand where I likeí. This, of course, does not go down well.

I loved this drama right from the get go. It draws the viewer in immediately as the characters are so alive, the scenes so vivid and the clothes and sets appear so authentic. There will more pain and heartbreak to come in the second part but such is the pleasure in following this story, I canít wait to watch it.











This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Small+Island to Twitter Add Small+Island to Facebook Add Small+Island to MySpace Add Small+Island to Del.icio.us Digg Small+Island Add Small+Island to Yahoo My Web Add Small+Island to Google Bookmarks Add Small+Island to Stumbleupon Add Small+Island to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the British Television Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Joanna Czechowska. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Joanna Czechowska. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
Labyrinth

Davina McCall on The Million Pound Drop

The Bee Gees Robin Gibb RIP

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor