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3.0 

In the Country of Others

By Leila Slimani & Sam Taylor
In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani & Sam Taylor digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

The award-winning, #1 internationally bestselling new novel by the author of The Perfect Nanny that “lays bare women’s intimate, lacerating experience of war” (The New York Times Book Review)

After World War II, Mathilde leaves France for Morocco to be with her husband, whom she met while he was fighting for the French army. A spirited young woman, she now finds herself a farmer’s wife, her vitality sapped by the isolation, the harsh climate, and the mistrust she inspires as a foreigner. But she refuses to be subjugated or confined to her role as mother of a growing family. As tensions mount between the Moroccans and the French colonists, Mathilde’s fierce desire for autonomy parallels her adopted country’s fight for independence in this lush and transporting novel about race, resilience, and women’s empowerment.

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32 Reviews

3.0
Expressionless Face“The main drawback of this book would be its (lack of) plot. The connective tissue between chapters is weak, and ultimately very little occurs that is compelling or interesting. Thematically, the book deals with a mixed French-Moroccan family being caught in the middle of the rising Moroccan nationalism of the 50s. In my opinion, this “caught in the middle” plot line is done in a very cliche way (case of “telling” instead of “showing”) and ultimately I come out of this book concluding the author has strong internalized bias against the Moroccans. The Moroccan nationalists are portrayed in a much worse light compared to the French and many of the characters are white savior adjacent. The Moroccan characters are all extremely and inexplicably violent, and the disdain the French hold towards the peasants they employ is never really addressed in any meaningful way.”
ViolenceUnsatisfying plot
“I can't for the life of me remember where I heard of this book, and I also can't figure out why I finished it. There isn't really a plot line, we're just following random things that happen to this very unhappy cross-cultural family in 1950's colonial Morocco. The story was fine, was really bothered me was the author's writing, it was often negative and vulgar. There was also not a single likable character in this whole book, you just felt bad for everyone. I can't think of a single person I would recommend this one to...”
“I feel like 3.5 is a good rating for this”

About Leila Slimani

Leila Slimani is the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny, one of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2018, for which she became the first Moroccan woman to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt. Her first novel, Adèle, about a sex-addicted woman in Paris, won the La Mamounia Prize for the best book by a Moroccan author written in French and gave rise to her nonfiction book Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women's Intimate Lives in the Arab World. A journalist and frequent commentator on women's and human rights, Slimani spearheaded a campaign--for which she won the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom--to help Moroccan women speak out, as self-declared outlaws, against their country's "unfair and obsolete laws." She is French president Emmanuel Macron's personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture and was ranked #2 on Vanity Fair France's annual list of the Fifty Most Influential French People in the World. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she now lives in Paris with her French husband and their two young children.

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