The star of this novel is Zadie Smith's writing. It's a thoughtful exploration of the lives of four people who grow up in the same area of London, especially the two friends Leah and Keisha/Natalie. I especially admire how the author imagines different dialogues and demonstrates the different expectations and world views of her characters. Overall, it's melancholy, but manages to end on a hopeful note for the two main protagonists. There is a pleasing symmetry to their relationship.
This is beautifully written, and it will stay with me for awhile.
Published July 15, 2012