I just got done reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith. I read it because I heard her acceptance speech for an award for her latest novel, Swing Time, and she was brilliant.
I recommended the book to my family before I got very far in it, because it was obvious that it was going to be a great read. I love books that are about the complexities of multi-cultural relationships, and “third culture” kids. That is, kids from one culture, living in another, and not truly part of either.
However, it quickly became obvious that it would be … uncomfortable to think of having recommended this book to one’s mother, as the subject material is often somewhat, shall we say, off-color.
Anyways, the story did end up being very beautiful. But like real life, it was also very ugly. And very sad. And very happy. And tragic, and funny, and … all other manner of contradictions. It also had the most beautiful ending of any book I’ve read for the last year, at least.
So, while I do indeed recommend the book, I can’t guarantee you won’t be offended by the subject material, since it does go out of its way to offend on matters religious, ethnic, moral, and political.