I have just finished this, I’m on a bus, so many faces, and I wonder, how lonely are the souls behind these tired, cheerful, talking faces? What lays beyond the head resting on the glass pane and the lost gaze in a horizon unseen to everyone else?

I found myself surprisingly relating so much to Sensei, and I imagined myself having lengthy conversations with him where we finish each other’s sentences. Would his fate have been different if he had found in someone else his heart’s desire and secrets?

His words took my heart down to the dance floor and swirled with it in a frenzied dance that only came to a stop when I was full of lassitude and my legs were no longer able to move. Just to lift me up and continue in a more steady rhythm, calmer and in a way soothing.

This book is the new Brothers Karamazov, with the exception that I loved this one and disliked the other in its Arabic translation. It explores the depths of a lonely self in a way that would make anyone who had known the feeling want to shout “yes!” at the top of their lungs and then retreat to the darkness and cry to their heart’s content.

If only I could use this book as an amulet, thread its pages through my heart and soul and melt into one existence with it. It is I, and I would like to carry it with me through my life.

Hiba Arrame