The Long Song By Andrea Levy
Andrea Levy takes us to Jamaica in the 1830s during the last days of Slavery and early years after emancipation. A harrowing tale of oppression, July, her protagonist, is the daughter of a slave woman and a white overseer; however she is treated like a slave on the Amity Plantation where she was born. Through July, we relive the horror the slaves had to endure as they are treated like animals to be pushed about and shouted on.
Nonetheless, July remains a smart, savvy, mischievous and bubbly individual with many tricks up her sleeve. You fall in love with her as she narrates her story and it is from her that we witness the firsthand brutality slaves suffered at the hands of their masters. They are mistreated in the most undignified manner imaginable and sold between each other like commodities. It is a story of survival and overcoming difficulties. Levy’s writing is poetic and full of imagery. She paints visual images with her words which is full of dramatic scenes that are painful and disturbing to take in. A sensitive subject to write about but she handles it with adept sensitivity that makes you wince, laugh and at the same time full of hope. For those who loved Small Island, The Long Song lives up to expectations and is a must read.
About The Author: Andrea Levy is a prize winning author. Born to Jamaican parents in London, she started writing in her 30s. The Long Song which is shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, is her fifth novel.
The Long Song is published by Headline Review