The Long Song by Andrea Levy

About the book

The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer decides to move her into the great house and rename her ‘Marguerite.’ Surviving through violent and chaotic times, July is taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, but remains bound to the plantation despite her ‘freedom.’ It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change both their lives.

Reviewed by North Baddesley WI Group 2:

This book was enlightening and described human endurance with pathos and humour. It takes a while to get into the story before you are drawn into the characters lives.

Rating: 4 Stars

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3 thoughts on “The Long Song by Andrea Levy”

  1. Review from Fareham 5:30 Reading group
    We too had a mixed response to this book. Some loved the book, with its portrayal of a cruel time in a accessible way. Others found the book and characters lacked depth and a good story. Perhaps Small I sland is a hard act to follow!
    We all enjoyed the language – the vivid native mannerisms which felt authentic and gave the slaves an identity. She painted the two communities really well. ne person found it depressinger, others said it was the opposite – the small victories of the slaves, their humour and humanity, their messages that people can survive.
    After reading an interview with Levy we can see why she wrote this book – indeed felt compelled to do so. O
    The score ranged from 2.5 to 4.5! Ocerall ***


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