Island Songs by Alex Wheatle Allison and Busby 2006
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 husbands, that far-off land of riches, where they settle down to motherhood amongst the jazz cafes and bleak streets of Brixton. A beautiful evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica, its history and traditions, and equivocal status as an overlooked outpost of the dwindling British Empire,' Island Songs' is an epic of love, diaspora, and sorely tested family loyalties. Many stories are told, but many more secrets are never revealed.