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Island Songs

Alex Wheatle

336 pages
Allison & Busby Ltd

"She wondered what kind of world she had brought her two daughters into – the tedious cycle of rural Jamaican life. No chance for them to set off upon adventures and see the outside world."

But sisters Jenny and Hortense Rodney, descendants of the fierce Maroon people, do get to see the world, and Island Songs is their story. Growing up in rural Claremont, working amid the hustle and bustle, lawn parties and ‘houses of joy’ in Trenchtown, the two sisters take a chance and move to England with their husbands, that far-off land of riches, where they settle down to motherhood amongst the jazz cafés and bleak streets of Brixton.

A hauntingly and beautifully written evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica, its history and traditions, Island Songs is an epic of love, laughter and sorely tested family loyalties. Many stories are told, but many more secrets are never revealed.

Author Bio
ALEX WHEATLE was born in Brixton, London. He began writing lyrical poetry and made a name for himself as the Brixton Bard before turning his hand to novels and his first book Brixton Rock is now a cult classic. He is actively involved with Book Trust to introduce literature to the dispossessed and organises workshops in prisons and young adult institutions. He was awarded an MBE for his services to literature in 2008.