Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | Book Review

Rating:  8/10

Format: Audio-Book – Library

I certainly haven’t read enough about the modern Middle-East (though this book doesn’t ever say the original location). That’s no question. It’s my lack of depth in this area that leads me to compare this book to the graphic novel Persepolis (which I loved). It’s humbling and fascinating for me to read what life is like in active war zones. It’s further humbling to read about the plight of refugees and the experience of being quite literally lost.

Our protagonists, Nadia and Saeed are compelling and interesting in their own ways. Nadia is fierce and Saeed is sweet. Through violent circumstances– their relationship escalates with forced swiftness. Even as they have each other, they’re still trapped in an incredibly dangerous city with violence on every corner and a regime who doesn’t need a good reason to make you disappear.

Full disclosure, team, I did not realize this book was Magical Realism when I downloaded it haha. Imagine my shock when things started going a little wobbly.  It took me a moment to even realize it was magic, I believed the author so fully. I got really sucked into this book. As refugees, Nadia and Saeed make their way through various destinations. Their relationship is utterly fascinating– you come to realize even when you go through something intense and intimate with someone– it doesn’t make a marriage. Something I wish I’d known earlier in my own life.

I definitely recommend this book, as long as you’re ready for it to get a little magical.

Subjective Hearts: 4/5

Objective Hearts: 4/5

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