The Runaways

Fatima Bhutto. Verso, $19.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-83976-034-1
Bhutto (The Shadow of the Crescent Moon) tells the wrenching story of three young people brought together in a jihadist training camp run in Iraq. Anita Rose Joseph, 16, grows up poor in Karachi and yearns for the kind of life enjoyed by her better-off schoolmates. After a neighbor introduces her to political radicalism via Urdru poetry, she is eager to learn more. Meanwhile, Sunny Jamil, 19, grows up in Portsmouth, England, a motherless child of Pakistani immigrants. Unsure about his sexuality and not fitting in with the other immigrant families or the English around him, he is lured out of isolation by jihadi radicalization. Monty Ahmed, 17, comes from a wealthy family Pakistani family and is relatively happy. After his girlfriend, Layla, disappears from Karachi, he follows her footsteps to Mosul, where new recruits are lured by her calls to arms via LiveLeak. Told in alternate chapters from the points of view of all three protagonists, the book moves forward and backward, explaining their motivations in spare, almost jaunty prose that elicits empathy for the troubled teens and stands in stark contrast to the seriousness of the plot. Bhutto’s penetrating character study convinces all the way to the inevitable bloody end. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/29/2020
Release date: 08/18/2020
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-241-34701-0
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-241-34700-3
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-0-241-34699-0
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