Nuri is a young boy on vacation with his father when he spots the beautiful Mona sitting by the pool. He is taken by her, enthralled and in love. It seems like Mona is able to fill the void that has been left by the sudden death of Nuri's mother a year earlier.
But when Mona and Nuri's father meet, Nuri's feelings are pushed to the side as they fall in love and quickly marry. Nuri is soon sent away from his family in Egypt to boarding school in England and he is consumed by the happiness of Mona and his father. He wishes there was some way to get his father out of the picture, after all he was the one who saw Mona first.
Then suddenly, Nuri's father disappears, kidnapped in the night. Nuri and Mona's world is torn apart as they begin to learn that they never really knew the man at all.
Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar is an incredible novel that asks the question "when a loved one disappears, how does his or her absence shape the lives of those who are left?" The weight of this question makes one think that this book will be heavy reading but this is where the book truly excelled for me. The storyline flows effortlessly, it's light but still full of substance, something that in my opinion is difficult to achieve and the mark of an excellent story-teller.
This is a quick read, and you'll be captivated the whole way through. The story is told in the voice of Nuri, and it is a voice that you hear, not just words on the page. Things may not be tied up the way the reader hopes, but that won't leave you disappointed. If you're looking for a quick read that isn't fluff, then this book is an excellent choice.
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