I started March with Crime and Punishment and decided after two weeks of not making it far through the book, it wasn’t the book for me. I hope you all don’t mind that I’m still counting this as the book for March when I didn’t exactly finish it in the month. I did finish it during a month-long period though. Ugh. After struggling through Crime and Punishment, Sasha suggested reading On Beauty and I thought why not?
Title: On Beauty
Author: Zadie Smith
Synopsis: It’s basically about a white, english professor of art history who has fidelity issues with his African-American wife, rivalry problems with an English African-American Professor who moves to the US to teach at the same university, and problems with taking care of his family who all have different views on how to live.
Opinion: It’s a very interesting look on someone’s life and the many struggles one can go through. The storyline of the rivalry between the professors seems realistic, but sometimes too realistic. I really wanted to be in a couple of the scenes to tell Howard to get over it and focus on your family and your wife. The fidelity issues were interesting. There’s a whirlwind relationship that got me thinking “did Zadie really need to include that?” but I guess you have to give your readers something to finish the book.
The style of writing wasn’t my favorite, but I didn’t have a hard time finishing the book as much as other reviews that I’ve read. I think I somewhat enjoyed reading it because it included interracial relationships, intellectuals fighting for what they believe in, and issues about Haitian workers and college communities. It was a little different then what I’ve read before, so I was glad that I read the whole thing — I think I read excerpts for a college course.
Rating: 5/10. The style did really throw me off at times and it could’ve been a shorter book without all the dramatics.
What did you think of the book when you read it? Share your thoughts!