“…she was always clad from the tips of her toes to the bottom of her jugular notch in a flowing black robe…these choices meant something.” 

The first detail that the reader learns about Nadia is that she always wears a long black robe when she is out in public. While this quotation, which appears in Chapter One, does not reveal the specific reasoning behind this choice, it does emphasize the significant extent to which she stands out as an individual. Nadia’s bold personality empowers her to send a message to those around her, one that she hopes will influence how others perceive her. 

"Nadia was possibly even more feverishly keen to depart, and her nature was such that the prospect of something new, of change, was at its most basic level exciting to her. But she was haunted by worries too, revolving around dependence…" 

This quotation, which appears in Chapter Five, highlights the mixed feelings that Nadia has about leaving her home country. While Saeed primarily focuses on the losses that migrating would cause him, Nadia looks forward to the change and views moving as an opportunity to create a new life for herself. The ability to forge her own path without the pressures of her native culture, however, does not come without risk. Nadia fears that she will end up relying on others to survive in a foreign environment rather than finding the independence she desires, and this hesitation reflects the practical nature of her character.

“Nadia wanted to take a shower more than anything, more even than she wanted food…she thought her body looked like the body of an animal, a savage.” 

When Saeed and Nadia arrive in London in Chapter Seven, Nadia’s first instinct is to first address her physical needs by taking a shower. This act, which Saeed initially dismisses as unnecessary, allows her to reconnect with her own sense of humanity. With all of the uncertainties surrounding them, Nadia puts herself first in order to maintain a degree of normalcy in her life. Her behavior in this moment also reflects the strength of her will as she refuses to let Saeed’s judgment impact her decision-making.