PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThroughout the trial, the book’s narrator, a fellow refugee named Jamal, relates back to us the remarkably tender stories of Saba’s so-called \'crimes,\' involving a blanket shared between the siblings and a botched circumcision. Jamal has a poet’s tongue and a painter’s eye, and he describes his experience of Saba and his other neighbors (some of whom have committed abominable crimes against him) with heartbreaking tenderness. It is a harried and lifelike and momentous opening to a novel. But as the perspective shifts in the second chapter from Jamal’s to Saba’s, explaining the circumstances of how her family ended up in the camp, the story loses some of its earlier momentum and verve. The prose is just as elegant and descriptive ... But what begins as a riveting, mysterious, almost magical and delightfully chaotic depiction of the inner workings of an East African refugee camp shifts into a slower, more careful tale of a young girl and her brother, creating new worlds out of dust ... Characters fall in and out of the narrative without much organic development. The dialogue between Saba and her friends and neighbors can sometimes seem heavy-handed, as if the characters are summarizing the themes of the novel to one another ... Fortunately the novel’s second half introduces Saba and Hagos to a number of much more rounded characters in the camp ... By the end, as this story of young, codependent refugees is propelled into a revelatory, formally experimental and ultimately tragic conclusion, the initial depth and beauty Jamal witnessed through his \'cinema\' curtains has only further blossomed. The novel leaves us with the lingering imprint of the siblings’ many sacrifices, and their ever-growing love.