There are so many reasons why Andrea Levy feels like home to me. As a young girl growing up in south London whose shelves in her house were furnished with various mismatched ornaments instead of books, it was when I saw Small Island on multiple shelves that I felt a strong sense of acceptance and understanding that home could actually be Britain.
Home is a funny thing for loads of us at the moment. The sickening treatment of the Windrush Generation has left many of us, including me, whose grandparents came over at the same time, feeling disenfranchised, with nowhere to belong. If the UK government could treat people, many of whom were told by a different iteration of the very same government that they could find a better life here, so badly, what did it mean for us? What does it truly mean for those of us whose grandparents contributed to the Britain we live in today, whose parents continue to contribute to society, and us, who do what we can for the culture? It was the stories of our grandparents that Andrea Levy captured so beautifully, and it was these stories that still make me feel at home.