by Alex Wheatle - £7.99 Allison and Busby (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780749082437 | ISBN 10: 0749082437
"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 descendents 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 husbamds, that far-off land of riches, where they settle down to motherhood amongst the jazz cafes and the bleak streets of Brixton.
A hauntingly and beautifully written evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica, its history and traditions, Island Songs is an epic story of love, laughter and sorely tested family loyalities. Many stories are told, but many more secrets are never revealed.
"Unfolds like the photo album of almost any Jamaican family... a fitting tribute to a beautiful island and its people."
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)
In booklists: Fiction - Black British Writers, Writers by Surname - W, Black Fiction - Worldwide, World Fiction - Jamaica, In categories: Fiction, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, World - Latin America & Caribbean,