- Read Date: July 14, 2020
- Rating: 3/5
- Format: E-ARC
Mysterious, aloof, flirtatious, hardheaded Elif walks into a bar one stormy evening and her life is forever changed.
When our main character arrives at the bar, all eyes are immediately drawn to her; before long, she’s sought out by an anonymous admirer leaving a carefully curated selection of books for her to enjoy. As she discovers the man behind the secret gifts is none other than the bar’s owner, Kabir, the two strike up a complex, charged friendship that courses and twines throughout the story.
Elif’s struggles with addiction and her vague allusions to her past are simultaneously complemented and foiled by Kabir’s own traumatic past and his striving to live an upright, halal life. Introduced into the cast of characters as well are several of Kabir’s friends who soon form their own unique relationships with Elif and into whose personal narratives Elif also becomes embedded.
In her debut novel The Name of Red, author Beena Khan has presented a myriad of timely and introspective topics: addiction, grief, consent, soulmates, and more. Red‘s protagonist leads a challenged and challenging life laden with life-changing events and struggles, inspired largely by the authors own anxiety-induced dissociations.
Khan certainly shows great promise in her storytelling ability, developing a thoroughly real and immersive world for the reader to discover. However, several of the supporting characters serve little more purpose than as elaborate plot devices with little development, and much of the novel’s grammar and syntactical elements leave quite a bit to be desired.
I’m very thankful to have received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review, and to simply summarize my thoughts, it was okay. I think Khan shows a lot of potential as an author and her detailed study and knowledge of psychology was very apparent in The Name of Red; I am certainly intrigued to see how this plays into her future works.
If you’ve read The Name of Red, let me know below!
Happy reading 🙂