I finished A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi in less than 24 hours.
I cannot tell you the last time I read a book in less than 24 hours that wasn’t either a graphic novel or a book of poetry. I don’t read like that anymore! I’m not sure I ever really did…but I know it has been years since I was so engrossed with a set of characters and their story that I simply refused to do anything other than read.
Now, to be fair to myself, it was the middle of one of the many February snow storms of 2019 that ravaged the upper Midwest…but still. I’ve been homebound before and not finished many a book.
I was so taken with A Very Large Expanse of Sea partially because I honestly had no context for it. It was a Christmas gift and when I cracked it, I had never even read the dust jacket. Wow, was I blown away. The story of a 16 year-old high schooler, after 9/11, Muslim, wearing a hijab and navigating American high school. I wasn’t prepared for the potency of Shirin’s story or how she would capture my heart and apparently my life for 24 hours.
I enjoy savoring books, characters, story arches. I like to take my time, reading multiple books at a time, letting characters, places and stories become part of my life for a while. I now realize this is not true for everyone. I mentioned to my bestie that I had read this book in less than 24 hours and she responded, “yeah, that’s the only way I read books anymore!” Maybe you fall on that side as well and good on ya! You do you! But for me, this book was something special and I have no regrets putting off every task I “could” have been doing to read and barrel through Shirin’s story. It was a gem. An absolute gem.
What was the last book you simply “could not put down?” Maybe it’s time to take it off the shelf and give it another go.
Happy reading everyone!
Goodreads Review: “A Very Large Expanse of Sea” by Tahereh Mafi