Book Review: Territory of Light

Initially published in monthly chapters over the course of a year, this short novel allows us to glance into the life of a separated mother of a two year old just as she moves into a new apartment and starts her live alone with her toddler, over the span of one year.

I have never read a novel before centering around an apartment, but I loved how the author used it to portray different things; new beginnings (and getting used to them), loneliness, scarcity and emptiness. The apartment is the territory where she now finds herself, like a newcomer who has to discover everything from scratch. And the light is not a warming, hugging kind of light, but a spotlight that puts you under scrutiny, and at the same time, does not allow you to hide all those uncomfortable details in your life you’d wish to ignore. As a mom to a toddler, as a woman, she is always judged for her choices, she is always watched (by her toddler and ex-husband) and cannot really find some quiet corner in the shade to unwind. This is a beautifully written, lyrical book with lots of layers of meaning and things to ponder about. I feel like if I started it again today, I would encounter so many messages I initially missed.

I truly loved this book and will be looking for more works by her.

Author: Carla Hafez

Reader of mostly literary fiction and own-voices fiction. Latina. Feminist. Amateur reviewer. Opinionated. Unapologetically progressive. Mom. Wife. Believer.

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