Farah wrote a compelling story about a man's death and the ensuing custody battle for his two children. The plot was entertaining, however I did not feel like there was a real struggle over the children. I never felt that the children's mother had a chance at getting them and never had the means nor the will to fight for her own children. While this book was written well and flowed easily, it just did not capture my full interest. The only thing that got me through the novel was a handful of captivating characters. All in all I would give this novel three out of five stars. -- Kaila Harding

While Farah has written an emotional and symbolic story about the aftermath of a sudden death in the family, there are some elements that were missing from it. There was no real suspense over who would get the children, as the ex-wife has demonstrated she is incapable of responsibly caring for them. I was also disappointed with the lack of political intrigue that the first chapter of the novel implied would be present throughout it. While there are hints of ethnic conflict or economic woes throughout the novel, there is no pulse-pounding excitement or suspenseful political plots in the novel. The first chapter of the book reads like a Die Hard movie and then abruptly turns into a soap opera. On the other hand, the book is interesting and does give a good glimpse into the lives of Somalian expats returning to their home country to sort out family conflict, a kind of story and setting rarely seen. I give it three out of five.--Jackson Emmons

The premise of the novel Hiding In Plain Sight looked very intriguing to me; how a brother dies and his sister sacrifices her life to tend to the needs of the kids who lost their father. The story followed the day to day life of Bella, and how she accepted her new role. Once I started reading and getting farther into the book, I tended to lose interest in what was happening. The text was often dry and Farah drowned the reader with details that were not necessary for the development of the novel, halting its progress. Farah did a poor job bringing the characters to life as well. For example, Bella lacked the inner conflict of leaving her previous life and taking on an unfamiliar life with ease. She faces very little struggle raising two teenagers and she was basically the diplomat in almost all the sticky situations. The only characters that were brought to life were Salif and Dahaba. Farah did a great job portraying the reaction and emotions teenagers would have after losing someone who was close to them. This was a 339 page book but do to all the added and unnecessary information, this book could have been 100 pages, still getting the point across. Overall, I give this Farah's novel a 2.5 out of five stars.--Mitchell Parrott

Nuruddin Farah’s novel Hiding in Plain Sight has an interesting story line to say the least. The novel discusses the life of a Somali woman named Bella as she cares for her brother’s children after his wife abandoned the family. The novel taking place in Somalia allows for plenty of action. There are terrorist attacks and explosions littered throughout the story. However, the most interesting part of the novel is the custody battle between Bella and Valerie over Dahaba and Salif. The reading can be exciting at times; however, it does tend to be rather dense and dry. It is often descriptions of the day-to-day life of Bella and the children, nothing to exciting. The storyline is respectable, but was not carried out in the most desirable manner. I give the novel a rating of three out of five stars. – Gavin Cauley

Although Hiding in Plain Sight has an intriguing setting and story line, its plot is actually uneventful and predictable.  The concept of a custody battle arising from a terrorist attack leaving two children without a father and a mother who left them years ago calls for excitement and drama.  The depiction of day-to-day life as Bella and the children get settled becomes monotonous and repetitive.  Most of the characters fit simple, stereotypical descriptions with the exception of Bella who is almost too perfect from the reader to identify with. From the author's writing style, it is clear that Farah is writing in an unfamiliar language as some parts seemed too  formal and awkwardly worded.  Overall, I give the novel two stars out of five. —Grace Bloomfield

Hiding in Plain Sight has a dramatic beginning and a storyline full of potential. However, after the death of Aar the story drastically slows down. The novel begins explaining the day-to-day lives of Bella, Salif, and Dahaba. Salif and Dahaba's biological mother, Valarie, and her partner, Padmini, eventually enter the story. This creates an endless amount of possibilities for the story to take off or at least cause the reader to feel some suspense for a moment. However, the story never has a true climax. There is no real custody battle and Valarie's plan to create a trust, obviously searching for money, never goes anywhere. The characters are all simple and not very deeply developed. The book is plain and simple. An aunt takes care of her niece and nephew when their father, her brother, dies. The book desperately needs something to capture the attention of readers. The simple writing style and flow makes the book easy to read which leaves even more room for a climactic event. Overall, I think the book deserves a 2.5 out of 5 stars. -Maddie Graw

Nuruddin Farah was able to write a book with a compelling premise that promised to be a commentary on the political situation within Africa as well as a family's ability to respond to tragedy. However, if a reader were to guess the plot after reading the first fifty pages, he/she would likely be able to make a reasonable guess as to how the story plays out. This is the main shortcoming of the novel; its plot is somewhat predictable and lacks any sudden shocks or cliffhangers. With that being said, Farah develops her characters well and employs an objective style of third person narration that clearly relays the events of the story. I wish that Farah would have taken more chances with the language of the novel as it was plain at times, especially considering what could have been done with the perspectives of people from so many cultures coming together. Though I think that the plot was fairly predictable and Farah could have explored more with her use of language, the book was entertaining and addressed an interesting topic with strong characters. I would give the book three stars out of five. -Jake Sheldon

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