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