Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Book Review Blue Ladder

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I first found out about this one because it was a pick for Book of the Month Club in March and I have seen it blow up since.

I didn’t pick this one in March but it sounded really interesting to me and when one of my library systems ordered it I put myself on hold. And I got it and I read it. Here are my thoughts.

This is about a couple who leaves Syria through a magical door when the fighting begins. They travel to different places trying to make a life. But as they live in different places they grow further and further apart.

The style of writing is like a fairy tale. The reader is told the story rather than shown the story.  I didn’t really mind it. I like fairy tales and other stories told to me. For some reason, I also didn’t need a firm connection with these characters. I thought it was easier to read about them with a slight barrier between us.

I also felt that this was an important book about being a refugee. There are elements of the fantastical (the magical doors, for instance) but there are big doses of reality about trying to find places to live and work because they don’t want to go back to Syria until it is safe to do so.

Overall, I really liked it and thought it was powerful though ultimately a bit sad. I recommend this to those who want to read more diverse literature and don’t mind being told the story rather than being shown the story. If you aren’t into the first chapter I give you permission to put this one down.

Thanks for reading! *waves*

 

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