Island Songs


Growing up in rural Claremont, working amid the hustle and bustle, lawn parties and ‘houses of joy’ in Trenchtown, two sisters, Jenny and Hortense Rodney, take a chance and move to England with their husbands, where they settle down to motherhood amongst the jazz cafés and bleak streets of Brixton.

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“This novel will be nostalgia trip for anyone who grew up in similar circumstances and a breath of fresh Jamaican air for anyone else” The Voice

Jenny and Hortense Rodney have always loved and hated one another in the way that only sisters can. From their childhood in Claremont, rural Jamaica, to working life amid the hustle and bustle of Trenchtown, they are the turning point in a multi-generational tale.

Enticed by the possibilities of the colonial “motherland”, the sisters move to England and settle in the bleak streets of Brixton, only to find that this land of opportunity is instead one that will stretch their fractious relationship to breaking point . . .

A hauntingly beautifully evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica and the Brixton of the Windrush generation, Island Songs is an epic of love, laughter and sorely tested family loyalties.

By the author of Brixton Rock, East of Acre Lane and Homeboys, and several bestselling, prizewinning novels for younger readers

Island Songs grabs your heart “ Independent
“Alex Wheatle has a real talent for understated, convincing dialogue” Big Issue

Additional information

Weight 0.24 kg
Dimensions 19.6 × 12.8 × 2.6 cm












823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K