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Secret Son

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 30, 2009 – Lalami's unpolished first novel (after story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits) follows Youssef El Mekki, a 19-year-old living in the slums of Casablanca who learns that his father\x97believed to be dead\x97is alive. The news precipitates Youssef's quest to find his father, who turns out to be the rich, well-connected businessman Nabil Amrani. The two meet just as a rift has developed between Nabil and his daughter, Amal, who is studying in America. Once Nabil invites Youssef back into his life, Youssef suddenly has all the luxuries he has ever dreamed about: a new apartment in the best neighborhood and a decent job. But just as quickly, it is all taken away, and when Youssef returns to his old neighborhood\x97now the headquarters of a fringe Islamist group\x97he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous conspiracy. Unfortunately, Lalami riddles the book with uninspired descriptions and observations; Youssef and Nabril are less than distinctive; and the climax lacks impact. It all seems perfunctory.
Secret Son
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: May 09, 2010
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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