Translated by:Timberlake Wertenbaker
This is a much shorter refugee book than I have read before. The narrative voice is unique as well. It may not be exactly my thing, but it did feel like a different reading experience.
It is based on the author’s own experience and is told with as few words as possible. Some things are hinted at or provided as a brief overview of events. The events being glossed over are pretty painful and horrific ones, but the impact lingers. Usually, when someone gives such sparse commentary on the events, it may not be easy to be emotionally invested. In this case, it was easy to imagine what was being left unsaid and the depth of the issue lingering.
Ibrahima is the third child but the eldest son. He helps his father in his business without really learning anything from it. This continues till one day, his father is no more. This pushes him into a position where he is the sole breadwinner of five at a very young age.
The unique factor in his story is that he did not try to leave his country because he wanted to. He learned trades within the boundaries and worked hard at it. It is only when his brother runs away to try and contribute to the household that Ibrahima sets out to bring him back. Once en route, terrible hardships come his way. He struggles to the point of no return and ends up investing in actually reaching out to greener pastures.
As always, it is stunning the kind of market that has become established, luring people to other countries. Some may be escaping for unescapable reasons; the rest seem to be brainwashed into signing their life away. No part of this story, however short, was easy to digest.
The unique style made it hard for me to read at my usual speed, and the rating and review are solely based on my experience with it. I would still recommend this to those who prefer to read such books and look from the viewpoint of a refugee.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.