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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Hidden Colours is a work of literary fiction by author Nillu Nasser, and the book’s title describes its immigration and integration themes beautifully. Set in Berlin, the story follows two people brought together by Treptow Circus, designed to become an integration project for immigrants living and working in Berlin. Ellie is a journalist, and with her media head on she’s obligated to rail against the circus for the sake of her job, but deep down in her heart she loves the vibrancy and excitement of it all. Yusuf, a Syrian refugee, comes to the circus as his only hope of survival and acceptance, but when the big top gets more exposure than it needs, things start to go terribly wrong.
What I particularly enjoyed about Nillu Nasser’s work was that it has the high quality storytelling of a literary work but without the unnecessary length that so many of them have. In Hidden Colours, we stick close to the story and our central cast of wonderful performers and different nationalities, and though the tension of the outside world is prevalent, this is very much a tale of individual experience. Nasser brings characters to life with sharp dialogue, heartfelt atmospheric description, and some quite shocking violence which is painfully realistic to our time. Ellie and Yusuf really pave the way for an exciting future of heroes in fiction. Overall, Hidden Colours is a must-read for those who enjoy interpersonal drama and are also concerned with the cold, discriminatory hatred that’s seeping into our world.