This is a quiet love story, combining with that the everyday struggles of being a refugee, from Asia, in the West. Our lovers, Saeed and Nadia, live in a city that could be in Syria, or any other country in Asia, on the brink of civil war. Nadia is an extremely independent young woman, who has cast off her family, whereas Saeed is fairly conservative and very attached to his elderly father. Definitely a case of opposites attracting each other.
The author cleverly uses magical realism to create ‘doors’ to the West, so the novel doesn’t get bogged down in the refugee escape story. Nadia and Saeed emerge through ‘doors’ into London, San Francisco, Greece and Amsterdam. What the novel really focusses on is how they both adapt to having left their former lives and country behind, and how their love affair changes over time.
Nadia and Saeed are both engaging characters; the writing is beautiful, and I really enjoyed the story. It would make a great personal response choice for senior students.
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