Study Guide

A Border Passage Tough-o-Meter

By Leila Ahmed

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree Line

Ahmed writes like an academic with a poetic bent…or maybe like a poet who's super into ever-so-slightly-dusty academia. Basically, she's equally fond of long, discursive sentences and lovely, well-crafted language. She also often presents an event or incident more than once…in order to examine it from different perspectives. Or, she'll fold historical information into the personal story as she goes.

The resulting narrative ain't particularly straightforward. It's pretty easy to get lost in this book and not be able to locate a specific moment—make sure you use sticky notes (or, you know, your good buddy Shmoop) so you can find what you're looking for later.