Jude’s voyage takes a deadly turn when he rejects Qadir’s offer to help procure a taxi, a decision that leaves him robbed and left to die in the bush. Readers will appreciate Githaiga’s skill at mirroring the two men’s alternating perspectives, prompting reflection on the similarities in their vastly different worlds while driving home the pervasiveness of their discrimination. Jude, the only Black person in his workplace, first experiences racism when his boss targets him on the job, and his reluctance to protest this treatment is vividly portrayed while managing to stay relatable. Meanwhile, Qadir’s exposure to prejudice as a Somali is equally arresting, particularly in the details Githaiga uses of a terror attack on a local mall, and later scenes of Jude visiting a memorial effectively build the case that white men portrayed as heroes may have been misrepresented.
Githaiga chooses to divulge heavyweight secrets in the prologue, which plays down the novel’s surprises and sacrifices tension in favor of setting the scene—however, although some fans may wish for a heftier build-up to Jude’s reveal, the story gains traction when contemplating the men’s separate but intertwined experiences, leaving readers with much to consider.
Takeaway: This warm story explores the interplay between identity and discrimination.
Great for fans of: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini; Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A