At first, I was wholly convinced by Mohsin’s delicate depiction of their passion, acted out in a bizarre Millennial world which encompasses both emotional reliance on social media and sectarian throat-slitting.
The country’s descent into barbarism is all the more horrifying for being glimpsed through the narrow prism of two self-absorbed lovers.
Would that he had left the story there.
But the lovers’ escape from the conflict is achieved via a lurch into magical realism.
This robs the novel of a key detail of the migrant experience — the physical brutalities of the passage to Europe.
Thereafter, the characters lack human agency, and their travails cease to be interesting.