'Swing Time' Review: There is no main character
***Warning, this review may contain spoilers***
The thing about this book is the main character has no name. The author made a character without a name. This is my first time reading Zadie Smith so I was surprised by this. It actually took me a long time, about 100 pages, to realize that the main character has no name. I even had to look up the characters' names just to be sure.
In 'Swing Time' by Zadie Smith, the story is about two brown girls who love to dance, and dream about becoming professional dancers. The story goes from how they met in dance class up to their adulthood and how they try to hold on to their dreams. The story is still about the main character and her life. Where she shares her experiences about her life, her parents, and her friendships. But she is not really in the story. She is more of a narrator than a main character.
I didn't realize how much that bothered me until one of the big climaxes of the book started to happen. It was when the MC's parents finally split up about it. If I remember correctly the MC had no reaction to that situation. No tears, she just accepted it. There was no ownership of her experiences throughout the whole book. Not when her parents got a divorce or she got her first job.
And when she did have a reaction, it was met with nothing. Like with Tracey in one of the last scenes or with Aimme's manager when she got fired. The people she fought with looked at her as if she didn't know any better. As if she was too naive to understand the situation. That she was just a person that had a lot of growing up to do. And I really did appreciate what the author did with this book. It showed a person with a life that is dependent on everyone else's life and how focusing on the people around you too long will leave you with no time to be yourself.
This book isn't just about dance. It's about music, politics, dynamics, people and relationships and how people live their lives. I felt calm while reading this book. It wasn't too dramatic or over the top. It was just reading about life. And once in a while i need a book like this to calm me from the dramatics.
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