tina's Reviews > The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu
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's review
Oct 24, 10

While I liked this book, i wasn't blown away like the man who wrote its review for the NYTimes. For one thing, it's very bleak, which would be okay if more were happening in the narrative. But it's paced very slowly, which can be distracting. Stephanos is so circumspent that it's painful to exist in his world. I wanted him to grow a sack and get to it; ask the woman out already or close his damn store or go back home. After living through a civil war, watching his father get murdered, and being separated from his family for 17 years, I felt he didn't have too much more to lose. i suppose this is the point- but immigrants tend to be a bit more courageous. This book is much better than Netherland, but there's something a bit too similar to it-this sense of isolation that comes from a combination of negotiating an identity in another country and coming to terms with one's own limitations (aka maturity). I've heard it called "crisis of the 30s". i suppose this is a bit of an oversimplication but that's okay. Overall it was good to read. I'll read Mengestu's next book.

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