Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Secret Son by Laila Lalami

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami’s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

My Comments :

I feel very frustrated when I read this book. The character Youssef is such a shallow young man who would ditch his mother and friend just for an unknown father. A father who is even too ashamed and scared to acknowledge him.

The plot about the mother and son relationship and father and son relationship was pretty much predictable. Halfway through the book I could foreseen what would happen between them

I was rather put off by the terrorist theme. Feels that the author tries to create suspense in the novel but it's not successful for me. I feel like there are something missing. Like part of the novel have been chopped off. One day Youssef was very close to his friend then suddenly the thread broke off. There is no mention what happen to his friend which convert him into a terrorist. 

Am rating this book 2 stars as I love the way the author use her words. It's beautiful and easy to read.

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