This short graphic novel tells the story of Zeina Abirached’s life growing up in Beirut while Christians and Muslims divided the city in war. It is presented as a collection of memories, collecting shrapnel, getting a taxi to school because the buses refuse to make the journey, and seeking refuge in other countries from time to time.
The artwork is very simple, and all in black and white. The style of drawing helps to make the story understandable and enjoyable, and there is very little text at all (although not in a way that makes the story difficult to follow). This is my favourite graphic novel that I’ve read so far, because it is very to-the-point and not at all self-indulgent or full of irrelevant ramblings like others that I’ve read.
Although the story has the potential to be quite upsetting, graphic details of war are not included, making this an easy read. It is short and straightforward, but the details of a regular life in a place split by war are still moving and poignant.