"But this isn’t White Teeth. NW is in its way a magnificent read. There are passages that really do knock you out. But the author is developing a style that is far more stripped down and raw than was the case in her first book. (And I’m happy to take her word on the current London slang.)
"NW revolves around two school friends, Leah Hanwell and Natalie Blake. Leah is white and clever, but a drifter, one who was into every passing trend but now finds herself without a goal. Natalie, is mixed race, churchy, bookish and professional. She changed her name from Keisha (as Zadie herself evolved from Sadie).
"Leah and Natalie’s lives go in very different directions. Leah’s career has stalled and she and her husband Michel, a French-African hairdresser, have constant money troubles. Natalie is a successful lawyer, married to a banker, living the middle class dream existence complete with a nanny in the basement. But of course, there’s more to it than that."
--- Zadie Smith's NW, reviewed in The Big Issue, Sept 10