For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music and freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe. While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it.
Every weekend, I delve into the British backlist and recommend a book for you. This book was one of THE big novels of spring 2018 in the UK, and I’m here to say it’s thoroughly deserving of the hype. The book chronicles 48 hours on a London council estate (“housing project”) from the perspective of five of its residents and makes moving poetry out of the gritty ugliness of life. It’s beautiful, moving, and important.