This novel is narrated by four separate characters at different times. Three of them, Amir, Eman and Kemi are Muslims. They live in a run-down northern English town called Friesly. Amir’s brother, Zayd, has died prior to the book’s starting. There are rumours that he had a drug problem. Amir knows that these rumours are built on misleading, harmful stereotypes. He sets out to prove it by memorialising Zayd on a bus shelter. This leads to him and the other characters being forced to do voluntary work for the Police for the whole summer holidays prior to the GCSE results. What will they learn from this and what will the police officer learn from them?
This book has three main themes: poverty, injustice and racism. Although it makes sense to have four narrators, the reason for this doesn’t become clear until near the end of the book and it’s possible that some less committed readers may choose not to finish this novel. The central ideas of Ansar’s book are powerful and important but the narrative at times can be confusing.