Although it starts off rather slowly, this book is a complete must read. It takes you into the life of an Omani man who is going back to his small home town after returning from working in the city, after he recovers from a scarring love affair with a woman he truly loved. The whole story is built on the sentence “If God allows a country to be chastised, he causes everyone who has left it to come back” and with the return of the protagonist, Khalid, everyone who has left has, in fact, returned to their little town. Things happen that reveal to Khalid the extent of the racial prejudice, religious bigotry and the strict patterns of leadership in his beloved hometown. Khalid gains a sense of maturity caused by his encounters with a “Saturnine poet”. It truly is one of those books that opens your eyes to the world in a new way, exposing you to how one of the cultures nearest to us live.