Mohsin Hamid, an internationally known writer, has created a book that has well defined characters, and metaphorically tell the story of immigrants of countries in turmoil, or on the verge of turmoil.
Exit West narrative is spare but descriptive, compelling the reader to turn page after page.
The “doors” in the narrative are metaphors to change, and many characters “pass” through many of these doors in their quest to survive.
The overall theme of this fictional novel grapples with war, extremism, identities, difficulties refugees encounter and humiliations they must suffer, and other hazards such as being fleeced by unscrupulous fellow refugees.
It is a bitter- sweet thought-provoking novel that forces readers to think how such huge disorganized, haphazard, illegal migrations can be prevented or at least mitigated, but world politics, as they are, make such government co-operation extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The author deals also with cultural differences refugees encounter, and must accept.
The narrative flows well and is elegant in its purity of expression.
Fortunately, the novel that starts in an oriental country combating extremists forcing young people of means to flee, what they can experience, how they handle their difficulties, adapt, and emotionally cope, to end up in the same town of their birth now in peace but totally changes.
Exit West reflects well what has been happening in the last few years from east to west, and how much emotional hardship it created and still cerates, not misery to millions.