I received a copy of the Home Is Not a Country audiobook through Libro.fm’s ALC program.
I picked it up because I had four hours in the car and needed an audiobook to fill that time. Rather, I wanted an audiobook, but hadn’t been able to settle on anything for several days. When I started this one and heard Elhillo’s voice, I knew I was going to take it all the way through.
When you imagine your alternative life.
What It’s Really About
Nima doesn’t feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her suburban town, which makes her feel too much like an outsider to fit in and not enough like an outsider to feel like that she belongs somewhere else. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself.Until she doesn’t.
As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry.And the life Nima has, the one she keeps wishing were someone else’s. . .she might have to fight for it with a fierceness she never knew she had.From Goodreads
Why I Read It
The upfront says most of it – I picked up Home Is Not a Country because I needed something short to get my mojo back. I found myself totally immersed in this story. Elhillo has the soothing voice of a slam poet, and that dropped me right where I needed to be in that moment.
And the sticky note says…
#StickyNoteReview for Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo. #SNRtbs Home Is Not a Country is a fabulous addition to my collection of novels-in-verse. Nima feels invisible. She’s caught between being called a terrorist, but being otherwise invisible at school, and pining for a homeland she only knows from stories. Her feeling of invisibility provides the conflict in the story (and the vehicle for the magical realism). The magic allows Nima the opportunity for perspective—seeing the experiences of her parents in the land she glorifies. The story is beautifully rendered and immersive—especially the audio—exploring what happens when one can’t see the present for what could have been.