This was a short novel but it packs such a punch! Through the lens of a seemingly innocuous British citizenship test, it offers up food for thought on racism and racial profiling, immigration, homogeneity and assimilation, sexism and misogyny, fatphobia, selfishness and selflessness, diversity, and how we assign perceived value to people.
But of course it's not just a British citizenship test, as the novel soon descends into something far more chaotic, lingering at the intersection of science fiction and psychological thriller. The story explores the human psyche and the hundreds of environmental factors that cause someone to choose the red pill or blue pill when put in a traumatic situation. It also explores the after-effects of traumatic situations, and whether you can live with your choices afterwards.
If you've ever seen the film The Killing Room, you'll *love* this.
A fantastic story about a man who simply wants to care for his wife and family in a country where he hopes they can all make a future together, unthreatened by a totalitarian regime run by fanatics. Unfortunately his new home isn't as much of an improvement on his birthplace as he perhaps naively hoped. His new home doesn't have religious police but it does have The Test. And to pass it may cost him everything he holds dear.