Trish Doller’s In a Perfect World is a beautifully told story about Caroline, who moves to Cairo the summer before Senior year after her mother accepts a job offer from her dream company. With a beautiful cover and an intriguing premise, I knew I would be in for a treat, but I did not expect to find such a moving story full of romance and important social themes.
The first person narrative is absolutely wonderful and Doller does a spectacular job expressing and illustrating Caroline’s discomfort and ignorance with extreme care. Caroline’s objections to and eventual understanding of Egypt’s political, religious, and social climates never veer into offensive territory, and she demonstrates considerable growth and development over the course of the novel. Speaking of, Egypt comes to life thanks to Doller’s lovely and vivid descriptions. She covers a lot within the span of the story, and every setting is as lively as the one before it.
But it’s Doller’s skillful and sensitive exploration of the political and religious differences between Caroline and her new surroundings that impressed me the most. While I’m neither of Egyptian descent nor of Islamic affiliation and therefore can’t comment on the authenticity and accuracy of the perspectives displayed here, I truly feel that Doller has written an authentic, honest, and well-researched and developed depiction. It made me curious and hungry to learn more, which, in my book, means she succeeded in her storytelling.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the romance! It’s somewhat of a slow burn, but in the best way possible. Caroline and Adam are absolutely adorable together, and readers will quickly swoon over Adam’s thoughtfulness and drive.
Overall, In a Perfect World is a charming and vivid novel that is as sensitive as it is beautiful. A definite and important must-read!