The book satchel’s selection of the 10 best books of 2020 so far: Dima Wannous’ “The frightened ones”: “Mind-blowing”!

30 June 2020 69 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

rp_Wannous-TheFrightened-UK-copy-187x300-1-187x300.pngDo you love books that surprise you? I do. I had such a rush reading The Frightened Ones translated from the Arabic. The same kind when I read Bunny by Mona Awad—dark, trippy novel about MFA students and decapitated rabbit heads—and Supper Club by Lara Williams—women indulging in food, gluttony and sex.

In The Frightened Ones, we meet Suleima—artist with anorexia prone to panic attacks—who meets a self-harming doctor and writer, Naseem, at her therapist’s office in Damascus, and falls in love. When Naseem flees Syria, he entrusts his manuscript with Suleima but she finds an uncanny resemblance between the protagonist and herself. Things get stranger as she wonders if they have crossed paths earlier, and whether she was manipulated for a story. She goes in search of the muse. Fiction blurs into reality, giving us a maddening, dizzying, psychological thrill through a story told in loneliness and fear.

The Frightened Ones reminds me a bit of Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox where the lines blur between the fictional muse and real life. I admit this book isn’t for everyone. It might be lost on some. There’s only one way to know if you will fall head over heels with Dima Wannous—read her book. In my defense, those who picked The Frightened Ones upon my recommendation messaged me that it was mind-blowing, so there’s a very good chance that you’ll love it. I certainly did.

Read the rest of Resh Susan’s selection on The book satchel.

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