I started to read this book because I worry that I don't know enough about the daily reality of life in Gaza; and also frankly because my count of reading books by women is low. So I went into this book somewhat out of duty, but within a few pages I was reading for quite a different set of pleasures. The people of this book are captivating, impetuous, funny, silly, serious, compassionate and, well, actually they're people. Their choices are recognisable as the choices of people, not characters, and that's a quality of only the very best novels. The observational skill of the writer is also very fine. I folded many pages as I read this book, for phrases or images that I wanted to have to go back to. My favourite probably was a description of English cooked food as having been rinsed under cold water. The one thing that marred the book a little was the imperfect editing job; it's disconcerting to find typos in a book of this quality. But that's a temporary annoyance; the things that stick from this book are much more significant. The one that I'm thinking of right now is the experience of the elder son of the main family in the book, now in a wheelchair for reasons that I must not reveal or it will detract from your enjoyment of the book, but it's just knowing that the elder son is disabled in this way, in a society where even the able-bodied are struggling, and how this countervails with the notion in Arab culture that the elder son is the one who looks after his parents. When novels succeed, they leave you with knots like this; and Out Of It left me with several.