Overview (via Goodreads):
‘The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world – in its dramatic as well as its quiet times – we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming … ‘
First published this Spring in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and brilliant story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, NW London, Zadie Smith’s absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions.
This book is good if you like short stories. The main character’s name is Fatou and the book tells us about her past and present, her thoughts and feelings. You read about the questions that float on her mind during her daily life, creating a bridge for larger scale problems.
The writing is perfect and images of what was described were clear in my mind. The story is powerful and it has great themes to think about, real problems of the humanity. However I think there is something missing. It wasn’t a story that made me keep reading. For a short story it is really good but I think I didn’t have the time to feel a connection with the characters.
I think I will read it again later to see if I can feel something more about it.