I was so excited to read ‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith. I’d heard great things about this book as well as other books by Zadie Smith and by the time I started reading it, it’d been on my to-read list for a while already.
I started reading it right after I put it on my e-reader, aching to read a book again that I couldn’t put down, and would keep me up all night until the early hours of the morning—just because I wanted to finish the book.
After all the raving reviews I’d seen and all the times it’d been recommended, I expected this to be exactly that book.
She measured time in pages. Half an hour, to her, meant ten pages read, or fourteen, depending on the size of the type, and when you think of time in this way there isn’t time for anything else.
‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith is about two brown girls who grow up dancing together. They both dream of being dancers, but only Tracey has the talent.
According to Goodreads, “Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time”.
‘Swing Time’ is a beautifully written story about a girl moving from childhood to womanhood and everything that she learns in between.
A truth was being revealed to me: that I had always tried to attach myself to the light of other people, that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.
‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith is beautifully written. The characters are well thought out, the stories are little masterpieces and there are a bunch of wonderful quotes that make you think.
But the book seems more of a collection of disconnected memories than a story. Although exquisitely written, it makes the book feel slow. It didn’t grab me, I never knew which period of time I was reading about and I honestly only finished the book because I was hoping for ‘it’ to click and me realizing I missed something all along (that didn’t happen).
I really wanted to like ‘Swing Time’, but although I adore Zadie Smith’s writing and the many amazing quotes, the book didn’t make me feel anything but boredom and dread for ‘having’ to read it to finish the book.
I may give another Zadie Smith book a chance, just because I’m really impressed with the writing, but I won’t keep going for this long if it doesn’t grab me.