To say I'm excited to read this month's book club selection - Swing Time by Zadie Smith - is an under statement. It was released last November, and having read the reviews I've been using all my will power to save it for this month's book club. If one of your new year's resolutions is to read more, this book is the perfect place to start.
The Guardian tells us that "for its plot alone, Swing Time makes for truly marvellous reading. The narrator's journey, from gritty estate to glittering globe and back again, is the juicy stuff of which film adaptations are made."
The book tells the story of two girls growing up in London who meet at a dance class. Their friendship is described as a close but complicated one that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. One girl makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life. The other girl leaves the old neighbourhood far behind, travelling the world as PA to a famous singer and observing close up how the one per cent live.
The Washington Post describes the novel as a story "at once intimate and global, as much about childhood friendship as international aid, as fascinated by the fate of an unemployed single mother as it is by the omnipotence of a world-class singer."
The Guardian tells us that Swing Time "has brilliant things to say about race, class, and gender, but its most poignant comment is perhaps this; Given who we are, who we are told that we are not, and who we imagine we might become, how do we find our way home?" Swing Time asks us to reconsider what we consider to be a success story and what does bettering oneself actually mean.
So forget the January blues and instead curl up on the sofa or take yourself to your favourite cafe and immerse yourself in this book. Let's schedule in book club for Tuesday, the 31st January.
Happy reading xx
PS: December's book club will be in session later this week.... I got side tracked over the Christmas and have another evening's reading before I finish the book. I just wanted to get January's selection up asap as I know a few people are eager to start.