Exit West Short Summary
Mohsin Hamid had his novel Exit West published in 2017. It is the story of a particular couple who use magic doors to flee from war in their country by escaping to different parts of the world. It is the author’s fourth novel, and it has been recognized as one of the best of 2017 by the NY Times.
The Plot of the Story in Brief
Nadia and Saeed happen to be in the same classroom. They are complete opposites, but they happen to fall in love despite their differences. This happens over some time. They witness the destabilization of the country and their city, with citizens frequently losing their lives to some rebels. Saeed has not yet moved out of his parents’ house, and this is not a big deal according to their culture. He is more of a conservative person to the point that he puts off carnal relations with Nadia until they become married. Nadia, on the other hand, is more rebellious. She even prefers living by herself, which is frowned upon according to their norms. Her parents cut off communication with her as a result.
The war gradually nears, and Saeed’s mother dies from a stray bullet. Nadia moves in with Saeed, and they all live at his father’s homestead. However, Nadia does not marry him. The rebels set up shop in their city, and the residents restrict themselves to indoor living while hearing frequent gunshots.
Nadia and Saeed decide that they cannot stay there much longer. They had been informed that there were particular doors that could transport individuals across different countries. However, they are controlled by these militants. Finally, they manage to get themselves a trip by use of a bribe. The father of Saeed does not want to leave, and they escape without him.
They get to Mykonos, in Greece. Here they settle with other war refugees. They are warned that they should not trust the people there. Then, one day, the couple is being pursued by some militants, and Nadia gets hurt. They escape, but soon they realize they are running out of supplies and funds. They come across a helpful Greek girl who guides them through a door that takes them to London.
Tension builds between London natives and immigrants as the population of immigrants rises. Saeed and Nadia are also not connecting. He misses home and frequently prays, and Nadia doesn’t seem to understand his actions. In London, the refugees are made to live in ghettoes. The city decides to employ these refugees as a way of building a rapport. Saeed and Nadia relocate to California via a different magic door. They decide that it is time to split up, and each should lead their own lives. Saeed later marries a native and Nadia gets a job. Nadia and Saeed do not see each other until fifty years later when they return to their native country.