This fictional story of a very real, very current global issue may be one of the most important books this spring. At its heart, this is a love story, two young people, Nadia and Saeed, fall in love as their home is ravaged by war. They are forced to flee, losing some loved ones and leaving others behind, forced to make heartbreaking decisions to save their own lives. As soon as I began reading this crucial and relevant book, I was floored with admiration for Mohsin Hamid. His writing is flawless. Words are judiciously chosen and carefully combined in striking and original prose. The writing alone would make anyone want to read this book, but then combined with the story? Honest, compelling, timely, timeless—all of this and more. While we don't know exactly where this city is, we are immediately taken to a world where the extraordinary and unfortunate fate of living in a city consumed by war is made palpable and real. This book is important and political but also deeply human and personal and it will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
As previously published in the March 9 issue of Arts & Leisure section of Addison Independent.