It’s always great to read a book that challenges your assumptions and The Reluctant Fundamentalist definitely did that for me.
The book is set in Lahore, where a man, who can be assumed to be a local, starts talking to an American. The local tells the story of his past, including his education and early career in the US.
He tells of his lost love, career and naïve devotion to the American way of life. He falls in love with an all-American girl, gains entry through her into a privileged society and graduates from university with an enviable job offer.
The story starts positively, but it becomes clear that the meeting isn’t has innocent as the reader might initially have believed.
I was interested in how the narrator’s growing disillusionment with the American dream morphed into something much darker, and this evolution seems both understandable and defensible.
The setting between the US and Pakistan, and the way it is all delivered through the eyes of the speaker.
This book is an easy read, but also touches on important issues of love, war, loyalty, morality and race.