Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Long Song by Andrea Levy

I tweeted a few days ago that reading The Long Song was becoming a long read, well, I've caught up and have now finished this engaging, disturbing and very well plotted book. It's very different to Levy's first success A Small Island and that's great, after who wants to read the next book that is just like the last -not me.

That said The Long Song reveals the author's deep interest in Jamaica, it's people and their history and as she says in the back of the book essay this is history but not as we often read it. It's so much more than history, it's the story of one woman, born to a slave, herself a slave in the context of slavery and it's abolition. And it's more than that, it's the story of reluctance to tell that story and Levy's talent is to also make the way July overcomes that reluctance so much a part of the story.

Overall, a well researched book that didn't feel preachy, that gave voice to a woman whose story was well worth listening to and written in a way that allows the reader to pause for breath and thus absorb the weight of its material. Verdict: a very good read and a book I shall re-read.

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