Title: Anatomy of a Disappearance
Author: Hisham Matar
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Dial Press (Random House)
Date Completed: 12/10/2011
In Anatomy of a Disappearance, Nuri is a fourteen-year old boy of privilege from an unidentified country. His life is about to change significantly when his mother dies, presumably of an overdose. Two years later, Nuri and his father, spot a beautiful young girl on the beach. Nuri thinks she is beautiful, and so does his father. While Nuri is shipped off to boarding school, his father ends up marrying the beautiful Mona. This causes Nuri much sadness and resentment, he feels lonely and lost. He silently wishes that his father, Kamal, an advisor to the King, would just "disappear", and soon after he gets his silent wish --his father is abducted.
The novel is a somewhat quiet introspective story, about the sadness that resolves from Nuri's unresolved loss, in this case the disappearance of Nuri's father. I liked the flow of this novel, and the writing was vivid and descriptive as well. Specific details like ones about the beautiful Mona with her silky hair and yellow bikini stick with me even now. The intro paragraph about a young sensitive boy's deep sense of loss, was particularly touching, especially sense he was never able to form a close relationship with his father prior to his disappearance. Even in the end Nuri never gives up hope that his father might return. The one thing I that left me wanting more was the fact we never really learn what happened to Nuri's mother or father. Despite this, it is still a worthy read.