Summary: The novel starts in an unnammed war torn country. Saaed and Nadia met at night class and begin a relationship despite the destruction of their every day lives, societal rules and the their homes. There are rumours of black doors which take migrants away from the war to safer havens.
Review: This novel is discussed as a book about immigration and the current political situation surrounding immigration. ‘The Guardian review calls it, ‘a novel about migration and mutation,’ and, I feel primarily this is what Hamid set out to achieve, but I felt that I took more from the love story than anything else.
The novel starts spookily with a woman asleep in bed in Australia, unaware of the person arriving in the dark, open door of her closet. We quickly then move to Saaed and Nadia’s home country and their life during the war. This was my favourite section of the novel as I felt the characters and the reality of living amongst war was really bought to life. From this point on the pair discover a door and escape to a ‘safer’ world. After this point I really enjoyed the study of their relationship, it reminded me of a very different novel that I read earlier this year, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. However, I didn’t feel that the aspect which covered the life of immigrants held much new for me. I think that a big factor in this was that many aspects, such as living with other immigrants, hunger etc. were brushed over quite quickly.
“To love is to enter into the inevitability of one day not being able to protect what is most valuable to you.”