By Zadie Smith
I waited too long to write about this one. I can’t remember much of the plot, but luckily, I’m quite sure the plot wasn’t the point. The characters and relationships in and between the three central families were far more crucial.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book was an inside look at a Muslim family living in England. The gap between tradition and assimilation was beautifully rendered, and for this American white girl, very novel.
There was also a bit set in World War II that I liked, but overall, the plot was forgettable. Zadie Smith’s prose creates more of a painting than a story. It’s a static snapshot of life as it really is, with lowered expectations, forbidden lusts, teenage angst, and incredible monotony.
Don’t misunderstand, it’s not the book that’s monotonous- that’s the real skill in Smith’s narrative. She brings us a reflection of our own lives with a poetic heart.
6/10. Read it if you have time and an appreciation for character driven stories.