by Alex Wheatle
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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 outside 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 among the jazz cafés and bleak streets of Brixton.
A hauntingly 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.
- Allison & Busby, October 2012
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