Monday, July 24, 2017

Exit West

Exit West / Mohsin Hamid, 231 pgs.

Nadia and Saeed live in an unnamed city that is heading into disorder. They are starting a tender love affair but things around them are getting worse.  There is fighting and destruction and everyone is worried.  Saeed lives with his parents who are devoted to him.  His mother's death makes the young couple decide they need to leave.  Saeed's father refuses to leave.  Doors appear that take migrants to new places.  They end up in a camp in Greece.  There are people from all over.  Next they are in London, squatting in a large abandoned house with other migrants, mostly from Nigeria.  Finally, they go through a door and end up in the bay area of California.  Along the way, Nadia and Saeed decide to part but they are on good terms. The end of the book tells of a meeting much later back in their city of origin.  Hamid is a master of making the bit of magical realism just seem real.  The story does not hinge on these details but the relationship between Nadia and Saeed that gives us a window into the state of the world and a hope for the future.

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