Swing Time

It makes you curious when a book receives so much attention when it is published. At the entrance of several bookshops in London it was difficult to miss the yellow book towers of the latest novel by Zadie Smith, Swing Time.

I love shopping once in a while and I always have to visit at least one bookstore apart from the fashion stores. That’s where I spend most of the time, just browsing along the bookshelves. Every time it is challenging not to leave with a stack of books. But yeah..….I am afraid I will have to keep in mind the look upon my boyfriend’s face when I bring a new book into our home. That is when I usually think twice before buying something haha.

It seemed as if Swing Time was everywhere. Flyers, reviews, people who read it on the tube. During one of my many visits to Waterstones I bumped into another yellow tower of swinging books. I decided to buy this book too.

So far, there is nothing wrong with the marketing strategy of Zadie Smith’s publisher. To be honest I had never heard of her before. Only later, I learned that she is a bestselling young British writer. And I will have to be honest again, Swing Time did not enter my top 10 list of books, but it is definitely a good read.

There are not many similarities between the main character (remain unnamed) and myself, but I liked that we both dreamed of a dance career. As a little girl I took ballet classes and I envisioned myself many times dancing like a star on a big stage. But, even at a young age I actually realised that I did not have much talent….not even at all haha.

This book is not about ballet, but about friendship between two girls who grew up in a poor and disadvantaged environment. The girls both love to dance, but only one of them, Tracey, is very talented, the main character is not. It is about the path the two girls choose. Or maybe choosing is not the right description. Life is catching up on them in completely different ways.

The friendship suddenly ends and the main character becomes the personal assistant of a female pop star (think Madonna, Beyoncé). How cool is that! As always, no matter how cool it seems, it is very demanding. The main character starts questioning about her own way of life, her relationship with her mother, her work, her origins, her childhood and her friendship with Tracey. All this leads to a number of pretty remarkable decisions.

Click on Swing Time to buy on The Bookdepository or click on the book below to buy on Amazon.

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