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  • ★★★★-4

Review: The Centre by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi (Spoiler-Free)

I think, sometimes, it's the cowards who don't run.

Ooooh, this was delicious. A fascinating, nuanced take on language and colonialism.

While this is a relatively simple narrative in terms of what takes place, the ideas are satisfyingly complex. We spend a lot of time in our main character's head, and that yields very interesting insight into the intersectionality of racism, sexism, classism, and more. It's truly a unique perspective.

Anisa is a layered protagonist, unlikable but unknowingly so. She holds educated opinions but also hypocritical ones. The way she interacts with friends and lovers is both enriching and destructive. There's so much to unpack in every interaction.

This is definitely a literary novel, more concerned with floating ideas than advancing the plot, but the action is enough to keep you intrigued throughout. Fans of Catherine House should give this one a try.

P.S. I love any book with a passage remotely like this one:

Still, only the romantic partner is taken seriously. Friends and family will not gather, ever, to celebrate my partnership with Naima—there will be no anniversaries or acknowledgements, no congratulatory cards, no celebratory ceremonies. And yet, it is the slow burning love of female friendship that actually keeps the world turning.


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