Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Read The World - Morocco - Secret Son

Book: Secret Son
Author: Laila Lalami
Pages: 320
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This was my 29th read for 2019.  I finished it on 2/25/2019

I have toyed with the idea of visiting Morocco while we are living here in Europe.  I have had a few friends who have gone and loved it.  My parents are actually going on vacation there in March.  What stops me is my youngest daughter.  She is legally blind, and what I hear about Marakessh, espeically, is that it is very crowded.  And that people reach out and touch you as you walk through the market place.  While this would not bother me, it would startle her because she wouldn't see it coming.  I understand it is beautiful and a place that shouldn't be missed.  We shall see.

This is the story of Youssef who was raised by a single mother in the slums of Cassablanca.  When he is a teenager, he finds out the truth about his father.  His mother had always told him that his dad had died in a horrible accident when Youssef was a baby.  His mother finally tells him the truth, and he goes in search of his father.  His father, a weathy man, offers to give Youssef a leg up and help him live the life Youssef always wanted.  But when his father's wife finds out about Youssef, he is cut off and finds himself back in the slums and on the streets with his childhood friends.

Bitter feelings and a sense of hopelessness lead him into a situation he can see no way out of.  His mother tries to advise him and make him realize he should be proud of who he is no matter what, but in the end, it might be too late.

This book was fine.  I am seriously considering not keeping it as my Morocco book for my challenge because the ending was horrible.  It just.....stops.  The writing was so/so, and the story a mixed bag for me, but I was okay with it until the last chapter.  I keep going back to it SURE that my Kindle version had somehow cut off the true ending of the story.  I went onto Amazon and found that I was not alone - that this was truly how she decided to end the book.  It was not a good choice.

As much as I hate to ADD another book to my very long list of countries I am reading, I just don't think this is the book for me.  I think I will search for another book about Morocco.

Stars: 3


  1. It sounds like the ending just kind of ruins the good bits by just being so abrupt, if you pick another for your Morocco book I hope you enjoy it more!

  2. Argh, I hate when books that. I've encountered that before and it's so unsettling. There's a writer whose books I love, but whose short stories are like that as well, with no resolution, just ending in the middle of everything, and it's turned me off short stories in general. Best of luck finding a more enjoyable Morocco book!