Monday 26 June 2023

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson | Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Viking
Publication date: 11th May 2023

Dancing is the one thing that can solve Stephen's problems.

At Church with his family, the shimmer of Black hands raised in praise. With his band, making music speaking not just to their hardships, but their joys. Grooving with his best friend, so close their heads might touch. Dancing alone to his father's records, uncovering parts of a man he has never truly known. His youth, shame and sacrifice.

Stephen has only ever known himself in song. But what becomes of him when the music fades?

"How could I forget?"

Whenever I read anything by Caleb Azumah Nelson, I feel like I am floating on a cloud. The writing style is so beautiful and I am instantly transported into the surroundings of the book.

Small Worlds is essentially a coming of age story following our main character Stephen. Stephen was born in London to Ghanian parents. Poetic and heartfelt, the story pieces together these  "small worlds" that he and his family and friends create or live in. Stephen leaving school, finding love, going to university, loneliness, finding his place in the world, racism, familial relationships, are all topics weaved into this novel. I absolutely adored the development of Stephen and his father's relationship.

All the characters are tied together through their love of music and dancing. The musical element that flows throughout the book is gorgeous and it is just such a lovely read. Stunning.

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