If I had to sum this book up in one quick phrase, it would be: hauntingly beautiful.
Lalami's writing style is beautiful. Sophisticated but not too ove...moreIf I had to sum this book up in one quick phrase, it would be: hauntingly beautiful.
Lalami's writing style is beautiful. Sophisticated but not too over the top. Easy to read, but not juvenile. The story itself I could not stop reading. Youssef's relationships with his mother, his friends, and his new-found father are at times heartbreaking. There is a lot of emotion in his story and Lalami knows how to write it well. Despite being heartbroken, I could not stop reading.
Then there is the political and cultural story of Morocco which is interesting as well (but I must admit, to me, was not as important as the personal story when I began to read). As a former anthropology student, I believe Lalami did her country justice. She showed the diversity of the people. Everyone has their own story and there are no simple answers to why some people live in the slums while others live in mansions or to why some people stand up and protest while others decide to sit out.
Despite having finished this book two days ago, Youssef's story is still with me. It's a rare thing for a book to haunt me, for the story to stay in the back of my mind for days. Lalami is a writer that knows how to tell a story and not only meet my expectations but exceed them.
*A note on the rating: When I won this book from the giveaways section, I told myself I would rate it fairly. That I wouldn't just give it five stars because it was free from the publisher. As I read this story and finished it, I knew I HAD to give it five stars. I loved the writing style, I loved the story, I loved the emotion, and found the overall effect deep and rich. Most importantly, I can't wait to share the book with my family and friends. (less)