Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?
Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families—the Belseys and the Kippses—and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kippses, the confusions—both personal and political—of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family.
"Glorious. Wonderfully engaging, wonderfully observed … that rare thing: a novel that is as affecting as it is entertaining."—The New York Times
"A rollicking satire. Fun, chummy and big-hearted … a tremendously good read. Rich, entertaining and beautiful."—Scotland on Sunday
"Oh happy day when a writer as gifted as Zadie Smith fulfills her early promise with a novel as accomplished, substantive and penetrating as On Beauty.—Los Angeles Times
"Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed."—The Guardian
"As readable and addictive as White Teeth."—The Independent on Sunday