By  Vera Berry Burrows

Four years after the end of World War II, Emma Williams, an adventurous young Londoner, falls madly in love with BJ Johnson, an immigrant writer from Jamaica. Both know their clandestine affair must remain secret for fear of racial prejudice and narrow-minded bigotry. Will their relationship survive against the odds, or will an unplanned pregnancy change their individual ambitions for the future? Only time will tell.


Skin Deep is a romance that portrays the challenges many Jamaican immigrants to the UK faced in the period shortly after the end of the Second World War. BJ and Emma are the main characters, forced to keep their love secret due to the prejudices of the day, which were widespread against people of different ethnic backgrounds. They are separated by the challenges they face and this book makes the reader want to discover if they can overcome and find true love. This is a story which was a sad truth for many couples of this era. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

—Janet Muskett, Helensvale, Gold Coast, Queensland


Skin Deep is a powerful reflection of post-World War Two Britain in which two young lovers are forced to confront simmering racial discrimination. Emma and BJ know that their unstoppable, passionate affair is pitted against all odds and which ultimately is to crash and burn, leaving an innocent young mixed-race child searching for identity and acceptance. It is pure fiction but could so easily be fact. Vera Berry Burrows has skilfully woven romance, intrigue and suspense into a story of humanity's darkest failure that is as much alive and relevant today as it was generations ago. It's a great read and a story that I, for one, hope will have a sequel.

—Ernest Allenbrook, former UK newspaper journalist

and author.


Another excellent novel from the pen of this author, taking the reader from the devastation of war-torn London to the peace and tranquillity of the Caribbean. As it spans three decades and two continents, Emma experiences love and hatred, rejection and acceptance, and racism that results in heartbreak. It is a story of how staying true to yourself can only lead to the happiness you deserve.

—Carole Cullen, Bilambil Heights, NSW


Skin Deep is a thought-provoking novel by Vera Berry Burrows. This beautiful tale starts in the 1940s and takes you on an exciting journey. We are cleverly transported back and forth in time between England and the Caribbean, as we follow the lives of two young people. A story about taking risks, as Emma, a white secretary, finds love with BJ, a black school teacher. A love story with many obstacles and setbacks as they both try to navigate a society that may not accept their relationship. Will racial differences matter? Is their love strong enough? Are they brave enough? A thoroughly enjoyable read, so set aside some spare time because you won’t want to put it down.

—Karen Snowden, Pacific Pines, Gold Coast, Queensland


This is a gentle story of a young Jamaican, BJ Johnson, whose life experiences of injustices, large and small, prepare him for future success. The author skilfully uses the very sensitive theme of racial equality and human rights in a romantic and absorbing manner. Love and separation lead to a creative and subtle mix of the harsh reality of racism combined with feelings of refined sensibility of morals, scruples and family values. Both the English and the Jamaican settings work well to engage the reader. Emma deals with her heartache alone, with continued determination to raise her baby with proper values to become an overall positive thinking human being. The theme of the story goes way beyond the racial parallel to bring together the characters with a freshness, intensity and sensitivity.

—Victoria Seedsman, Clear Island Waters, Queensland.

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