There's nothing I like better than that minor miracle -- a serious, literary, layered page-turner. Something really bad happens and two families (mom, dad, two teens and an older couple) are thrown together by circumstance to bear up through the claustrophobic, dread-filled, terrifying uncertainty. This book is the definition of a slow burn; there is little action and instead lots of interior ruminations and normal interacting in a decidedly un-normal time. There's some sly satirical parts, along with pointed examinations of race and class and privilege. Alam's writing style is different: wordy, overwritten, intense, metaphoric. And I loved it. This definitely hit my particular sweet spots, despite nudging a little too close to home in these COVID times. Warning: granted, I am a ridiculously and pathetically squeamish person, but I did need to lay down at a few places while reading.