Author: Hisham Matar
Pages: 247Source: Book club
Genre: ContemporaryGoodreads | Amazon.com
Anatomy of a disappearance follows the story of Nuri el-Alfi whose mother dies when he is a young boy and whose life is forever affected by her death. One day he meets Mona and everything changes, absolutely besotted he longs to be with her but she falls in love with and marries his father. Nuri's relationship with his father is changed forever and then his father, a political diplomat, disappears.
This book really is more than it seems, its the type of book where no description will really do it justice. Even the above paragraph really doesn't cover the scope of this extraordinary novel. At its heart a purely character novel, it also winds the reader through a number of mysteries which slowly unravel as you read. Unlike traditional mysteries there is no wow moment, no major twists and turns, quite simply the story is like a present being slowly unwrapped - revealing a little more with every page.
Split between Cairo, England and Geneva, ultimately this book is about the changing nature of relationships. The disappearance of Nuri's father has a profound effect on him and it impacts his interactions with other people in a variety of ways. This book alludes to a number of other components to Nuri's story that allow you to explore your own imaginations. Of course I struggled a little with the slightly unhealthy relationship with his step mother however the story telling was so well done that it had me riveted.
I can highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character novel that explores the dynamics of human relationships.