I've been reading this off and on for a couple of weeks now--unusual, because usually I read a book in as close to one sitting as possible, or give up on it. I think it's that I really WANT to like this book--it's ZADIE SMITH--and some of the writing is really beautiful, but I don't really care that much about the plot or the characters. The story centers on a young biracial woman who, at the start of the book, seems to have been disgraced and fired from her job as a pop star's assistant--but it also flashes back to her childhood best friend and their relationship. The thing is, it's just not that compelling--I was WAY more interested in the protagonist's mother!--and things really bog down once the pop star decides to build a school in Africa. Like I think I can see what story Smith wants to tell here, it just doesn't come together for me. It is an interesting meditation on race and dance and friendship and human relationships, but it just felt like something important was missing to tie it all together. B/B+.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book is available now.