Not many contemporary writers can write as evocatively as Zadie Smith. Her descriptive language frequently takes my breath away.
“Summer left Wellington abruptly and slammed the door on the way out.”
“The moon was massive overhead and mottled like the skin of old, white people.”
“An Amazon of retail.”
But while most of this book was a pleasure to wander through , it was an ultimately unsatisfying novel-reading experience. The basic plot is of the disintegration of a 30-year marriage, but that’s fairly banal by itself. Smith presents a large number of two-dimensional and not very likeable characters, but doesn’t resolve any of their stories. At one point it seemed as if the novel would develop into a study of aesthetics in visual art, but that only gets superficial attention.
So I don’t really know what this book was supposed to be about.