Author: Laila Lalami
Publish date: October, 2005
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Genre: Adult Fiction
𝑯𝒐𝒑𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑶𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑫𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒊𝒕𝒔, the debut of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Laila Lalami, evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain. What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger?
There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future.
Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.
This powerful book may be small but packs a powerful and timely punch. Originally published in 2005, it’s just as relevant – if not more – today.
Following four individuals illegally fleeing to Spain from Morocco, while a relatively short physical journey, the emotional journey was incredible.
The structure of the plot and book are what made the book for me. The reader begins their journey in a boat crossing the Mediterranean with unfamiliar characters. Lalami then delves into the backstory of each of the four characters. Without spoiling the story, each person has a compelling reason for fleeing and the real journey begins.
The writing is gritty, realistic, and perfectly captures the nuances of the Moroccan culture, the Muslim religion, and the timeless and universal struggle of people seeking a better life in another land.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned a tremendous amount about a time and a place I wasn’t familiar with. This was my first book by this Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist author but it definitely will not be my last.
Thanks to Algonquin Books for this beautiful gifted copy in exchange for promotion and my honest review.