Ranging from memories in 1945 to New Year’s Eve 1999, White Teeth is based in North London, and has nothing in the slightest to do with dentistry!
Archibald and Samad, are two stubborn yet cowardly men who meet at the end of the war. Their lives become intertwined years later when they are both living in Kilburn, married to very different women and attempt to bring up their children – Irie, and twins Millat and Majid. The children face the difficulties of their parents, society in the 80s, education, and multiple faiths.
This is Zadie Smith’s first novel, and is 448 pages of small-type print. She has incredible knowledge of the religions, geography and eras within the book, which adds to the complexity of storyline. It is easy to follow, aimed at adults due to its vocabulary and language, and has chapters of reasonable length.
White Teeth took me a long time to read. I found the very small print took a long time to get through, so I did not feel I made much progress each time I picked it up. Parts of it made me laugh, although I did not feel particularly invested in any of the characters. When I got going, the content was brilliant and Zadie Smith writes with lovely style.
I have wanted to read this for a long time, and am happy that I did. Whether I would recommend it, I’m not sure. It is not the best book I have read this year, and was a bit of a slog.
There is no rating system here for these book reviews. However, for now I shall give this 3 stars – good and enjoyable, but there are better ones out there.