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Zadie Smith: NW

NW leads the reader into the personal history of NW London through the lives of a colourful cast of characters. Their lives cross as neighbours, friends, lovers and enemies.

Author: Zadie SmithNWbookcover

Title: NW

Press: Penguin

Date of Publication:

Date of Purchase: March 2019

RRP: £8.99

Price of Purchase: Thank you library card

Reading Time:  7 days

Rating: 4

Books that make me feel lost don’t often fare well in my memory and NW was no exception. Although I enjoyed the snapshot style of the narrative I eventually found it quite tiring and difficult. As with all books I don’t enjoy very much I am sure that part of this response is borne of the fact that I was not in the right place at the right time for this book to reach me as it was intended.

I found the vernacular well employed and was moved by the relationship between Leah and Keisha (latterly Natalie) and the light this threw on the fact that you can know someone better than anyone else in the world and still not know them at all. Both women succeed in hiding from each other until the weight of their deceit causes their whole worlds to collapse around them, their husbands and their wider families.

I enjoyed Smith’s Swing Time much more than I enjoyed this and felt that the characterisation were deeper and the themes broadly similar so if you’re after a Zadie Smith maybe try that one instead. Sadly NW was not for me.

Featured image: Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

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