Wow. Jamaican-British author Zadie Smith is an international treasure. This book was phenomenal, a solid 4/5 stars. I read this years ago for a class in college called The Modern British Novel alongside Virginia Woolf, Kingsley Amis, and Ian McEwan. At the time, I may not have been as impressed, and I didn’t remember as much as I thought I would. But I remembered how excellent Smith is with her writing, so I was not surprised to be blown away with her prose. I’ve read reviews calling this book pretentious and trying too hard- but I disagree. This is just a well-written and entertaining story. It’s a little bit postmodern with a lot of realism and symbolism pervading the several disjointed limbs of a story that eventually piece themselves together.
The pacing generally worked well and kept me motivated to read huge chunks of it at a time, but there were some places where it slowed down significantly and I slogged through only reading 10-20 pages at a time.
Because it was British with smart, witty writing, and because it was a multi-generational and multi-ethnic story of family and relationships I loved it. Loved it!