Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Review: Hiding In Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah

When Bella learns of the murder of her beloved half brother by political extremists in Mogadiscio, she’s in Rome. The two had different fathers but shared a Somali mother, from whom Bella’s inherited her freewheeling ways. An internationally known fashion photographer, dazzling but aloof, she comes and goes as she pleases, juggling three lovers. But with her teenage niece and nephew effectively orphaned – their mother abandoned them years ago—she feels an unfamiliar surge of protective feeling. Putting her life on hold, she journeys to Nairobi, where the two are in boarding school, uncertain whether she can—or must—come to their rescue. When their mother resurfaces, reasserting her maternal rights and bringing with her a gale of chaos and confusion that mirror the deepening political instability in the region, Bella has to decide how far she will go to obey the call of sisterly responsibility.

A new departure in theme and setting for “the most important African novelist to emerge in the past twenty-five years” (The New York Review of Books) Hiding in Plain Sight, is a profound exploration of the tensions between freedom and obligation, the ways gender and sexual preference define us, and the unexpected paths by which the political disrupts the personal.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 30th 2014 by Riverhead Hardcover
Terri's Thoughts

I won an uncorrected copy of this book in a giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I really do not know what to say about this story.  I was left feeling rather disappointed at the end.  I just don't know if I can elaborate on why.

What was set up to be a compelling storyline ended up falling a little flat for me.  The concept of a sister travelling back to Africa to care for her deceased brothers children and dealing with the biological mother entering back in to the equation held so much potential.  I couldn't wait to find out what would happen.  The problem is I have turned over the last page and I am still waiting.  Nothing really happened in this story.

Add to it that I was rather annoyed with almost every character.  The children were either bratty or too mature for their age.  Bella was too formal to the point that she didn't seem realistic.  Valerie was a nightmare however that was to be expected.

I don't know, I am feeling a little frustrated after the investment of my time on this book.  What had really good bones just failed to develop in to a compelling story for me.

About the Author

Nuruddin Farah is a prominent Somali novelist. He was awarded the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

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