“There wasn’t any point in living when all you could do was survive.” – Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
“Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits” is Laila Lalami’s debut novel, first published in 2005 by Algonquin Books. The novel is a cautionary tale of Moroccans who risk their lives in search of better opportunities in nearby Spain via a short boat ride.
The novel is a story of four Moroccans looking to make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea via the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain in search of a job and a better future. The story tells of four desperate people filled with hope to “make it” across and then to make a new life. The novel is split into two parts, the first part delves into the reasons they want to flee Morocco and the second part is their life after their fateful decision.
Lalami delves into both the intricacies of Islamic culture in Morocco as well as the injustices that are perpetuated from domestic violence to bribing officials to joblessness and poverty. Ms. Lalami tells the story of the poor who are forced to flee their hometown because of the myriad of social issues stacked against them.
The stories are both disheartening and inspirational. They tell a broader story of the widening gap around the world between countries with and without opportunities available. This same story could be told in many countries throughout the world.
I received this eBook free of charge from Algonquin Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any fiscal compensation from them for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.