After weeks of discussions in seminar classrooms, i noticed Zadie Smith’s name come up ALOT. So i thought i’d give her a read, scrawling through her books on my Kindle, ‘On Beauty’ caught my eye, about love, and all that other stereotypical stuff that girls flock to. Only it isn’t the stereotypical love story that we all know so well.
It’s about real love, the love i could never understand at twenty-one, the love between two people who have been married for thirty years. The love that’s been broken, and mended so many times, that people begin to question it. It’s beautiful. The way that it doesn’t conform to all the typical plot lines of a love story. Some would probably argue that it isn’t a love story at all; but it is. It just looks at love from a different angle, an angle we all look past because at twenty-one you don’t want to think about how fat you might get, or how your future family might irritate you.
It’s this which strikes me, it’s just simple, there’s no vampires declaring their undying love, no walks along the beach, and kissing in the rain. It leaves out all of that, and cuts through it all to the apparent tedium and repetition of marriage. When you grow tired of your husbands irritating habits, and you wish your wife was still as young and beautiful as when you first fell in love.
In my eyes it all comes back to one thing, that you don’t always get what you want, and things don’t always last. You can try, and try but sometimes it’s best to admit defeat… And realise you’re not the same person you were before. The simplicity of the novel asking you to look beyond the so overdone, and overused plot lines of romantic novels makes it brilliant. It’s beauty lies in its truth.