Never Far from Nowhere, Paperback Book

Never Far from Nowhere Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


A passionate and perceptive story full of the pain and the humour of growing up, from Andrea Levy, author of the Orange Prize winning SMALL ISLAND and the Man Booker shortlisted THE LONG SONG. NEVER FAR FROM NOWHERE is the story of two sisters, Olive and Vivien, born in London to Jamaican parents and brought up on a council estate.

They go to the same grammar school, but while Vivien's life becomes a chaotic mix of friendships, youth clubs, skinhead violence, A-levels, discos and college, Olive, three years older and a skin shade darker, has a very different tale to tell...


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I think this is Levy's first piece of fiction. A quick read and lively portrait of the first generation experience of the children of Jamacian immigrants into England after WW11. Not as engrossing as her later work i.e. Small Island or the deeply touching Every Light in the House Burnin'

Review by

This was an okay book. Although I could understand Vivien's ambivalence over her background I never felt for her or Olive. To me they seemed like they made themselves into what they were. Olive used her colour and her mothers treatment of her as an excuse for her own ignorance and laziness. The setting wasn't painted well enough. I couldn't see myself in the places despite knowing what these places look like. But an okay book.

Review by

There are many books out there described as 'coming of age' novels, but of all the ones I have read this does the best job of conjuring up that feeling of anticipation and slight tinge of danger as you approach adulthood. It took me back to my teens - hanging out at the youth club, going to rough pubs. Except that the events in this book are that bit rougher, and the streets that bit meaner.Following two sisters, the daughters of Jamaican immigrants, as they grow up on a London council estate, this novel demonstrates the way in which our prospects in life are shaped and limited by our environment and our own expectations of oursevles. There is an impressive supporting cast - I particularly liked cockney Eddie and his excruciating family.We are told early on that one of the sisters has skin significantly darker than the other and we suspect this may have a bearing on events. The theme of racism is there throughout but largely understated until the very end. A really excellent and thought-provoking read. (show

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