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This month we’re reading ‘Swing Time’, the newest offering from multi award-winning author Zadie Smith.

‘Swing Time’ follows the stories of two girls growing up in gritty North West London. Brought together by a mutual love for dancing, the novel explores the effects of their complicated friendship from childhood to adulthood.

The narrator, who remains nameless throughout, becomes entranced by the brazen and talented Tracey when they meet in a dance class at the age of seven. By contrast, the former is self-doubting and introspective; passionate about music and dance, but lacking her friend’s natural talent.

Their friendship and subsequent rift (it’s safe to say this isn’t a spoiler – Smith swings between past and present with a rhythm fitting of her novel’s namesake) spans a twenty-five year period, culminating in a career-ending scandal in 2008. We follow their lives as their paths diverge; one travelling to Gambia as an assistant to celebrity pop-sensation Aimee, the other to the chorus line of the West End.

What results is a story about identity and betterment, set against the backdrop of race, class and gender.

If you’re after an engaging read then look no further.