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Portals to the unknown

Cover of Exit West
A review of Exit West by Moshin Hamid

This is Portland, Oregon's "Everybody Reads" book for 2018, so I was reading it for a book group discussion. Nadia and Saeed first meet at a class; slowly we are drawn into their world in an unnamed country teetering between a secular government and a fundamentalist takeover. They fall in love and hope to have a normal life in their country, but as things get more and more dangerous they begin to search for a way out.

Beautifully written novel about the chaotic world we are currently living in; full of love and war, homelessness and refuge, and the author's conviction that we are all at one time or another in our lives refugees. I loved the fantasy use of doors as portals to escape from one place but never knowing if where you ended would be better or worse than the place you were in. My one problem was that the author's concentration on that world picture made his characters (for me) not fully developed or realized. That said, this is a book well worth reading and certainly promotes discussion. 

May 22, 2018