Another 'book of the year' for the FPI blog: Small Island by Andrea Levy. I suppose there's a connection with this book to the last one, in that it's also exploring a world I didn't know anything about: the experience of Jamaicans coming to England during WW2, and their complicated relationships with each other and with the people they met there.
It's more than a story just about racism, it's about the infinite permutations of relationships you get when you put people together who don't understand each other, combined with their own personalities, with a war thrown; it's about the expectations Jamaicans had of a country they were brought up to think of as their motherland; its about strange, marriages that develop because of fierce passions (but originally not for each other). All fascinating stuff as you follow the different stories of the books characters.
It took me a few chapters to get into the book, but once I was in, I was hooked.
And now the BBC has posted the first episode of a film-based version up on iPlayer until Sunday, when they post the second episode. The film's a little more pretty than it possibly should be, but I still enjoyed the first episode, and the two lead actresses, Naomie Harris and Ruth Wilson, are awfully fun to watch. (I did a blog post here a couple years ago about Wilson, who plays Jane Eyre in the BBC adaptation.)