Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The Last One: A Novel by Fatima Daas

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Drawn from the author’s experiences growing up in a Paris banlieue, a powerful, lyric debut that explores the diverse, often conflicting facets of her identity—French, Algerian, Muslim, lesbian.

The youngest daughter of Algerian immigrants, Fatima Daas is raised in a home where love and sexuality are considered taboo, and signs of affection avoided. Living in the majority-Muslim suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, she often spends more than three hours a day on public transportation to and from the city, where she feels like a tourist observing Parisian manners. She goes from unstable student to maladjusted adult, doing four years of therapy—her longest relationship. But as she gains distance from her family and comes into her own, she grapples more directly with her attraction to women and how it fits with her religion, which she continues to practice. When Nina comes into her life, she doesn’t know exactly what she needs but feels that something crucial has been missing.

This extraordinary first novel, anchored and buoyed by the refrain “My name is Fatima,” is a vital portrait of a young woman finding herself in a modern world full of contradictions. Daas’s journey to living her sexuality in spite of expectations about who she should be offers a powerful perspective on the queer experience.

my thoughts:

What beautiful prose! The Last One reads like a poem with its lyricism and vivid emotions. I just loved reading about Daas and her life in Paris. It was fascinating, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. Talk about food for thought. 

Daas is Muslim, queer, and in her twenties living in France. She is religious and loyal to her family, so she struggles with how her sexual identity will affect these very important relationships. She struggles with it all and shares about it with such authenticity, that you can't help but feel her disconnection and sadness. It is such a passionate story. 

I found myself gripped by Daas's emotional journey and her ability to describe it, share it, and write it all out for us was just amazing. She bears it all - flaws, loves, struggles, pain, and so much more. It was truly a powerful read. 

I would happily recommend The Last One by Fatima Daas to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will fall in deep with this one. 

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!

No comments: