G. Bianco, 2019
When Laila Lalami’s debut novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, came out in 2005, it became a critically acclaimed novel and Lalami became one of the most influential writers of our time. Now in a stunning new cover, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits has been rereleased by Algonquin Books and Lalami’s impact on the world continues to be spread.
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. As four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain, author Laila Lalami asks, 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.
It’s really easy to delve deep into these characters’ stories and Lalami weaves such a fluid tale of all of these different people living in Morocco and hoping to change their lives. These people don’t know each other and their stories don’t intersect very much, yet they all have more in common then it seems at first.
This book wonderfully tells the story of four different people’s attempts at illegally emigrating from Morocco to Spain, but their stories become much more than that. We see how some people lose hope after trying to emigrate while others flourish. Each story is unique and Lalami gives a very real look at what it’s like to feel like you have no hope. On top of that, she also showcases what it’s like to only have hope left.
There is no closure at the end of the book and I think that’s the whole point. These people’s lives aren’t over, in fact, for many of them their lives are just beginning. This novel not only shows what it’s like to hold onto hope, but has the reader holding on to hope at the end that these characters may find their way in life. If you’re looking for a true example of storytelling at its finest, then this is the book for you!
*I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!