Sunday, November 20, 2016 is the closing date for the drawing for a free copy of The Other Einstein. To enter, go back to the ORIGINAL GIVEAWAY POST. It’s easy to enter!
by Zadie Smith
Swing Time has been summarized in simplistic terms as the story of two dance-loving brown girls growing up in London. This friendship is actually only one part of a complicated story that extends from New York through London to West Africa and includes politics, religion, and a variety of cultures.
I was immediately drawn into the story as I read the Prologue. At that point I had other things to attend to and put the book away with regret thinking “if the Prologue is so engaging, the rest of the book must be fantastic.” And it was. Part of it. Unfortunately, it unintentionally reflected its title swinging back and forth from interesting to “let’s just move on through.”
Zadie Smith is undoubtedly a very good writer. For Swing Time she draws on her own Jamaican heritage as well as extensive research of West African culture. She also depicts the various social and cultural groups of London. She has interesting characters but she doesn’t always share a satisfactory motivation for their actions. Some of the characters, such as the never-named main character/narrator’s boss and her mother’s partner are important but are treated more as accessories to the story rather than fully developed personalities. I do not regret reading Swing Time, but I wouldn’t reread it.
Note: Language warning
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Penguin Random House UK for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.