Add The Moroccan Daughter to your Goodreads TBR:
Format: Trade Paperback
Australian RRP: $32.99
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Penguin Books Australia –
Morocco: a captivating country of honor and tradition. And, for these four women, a land of secrets and revelations.
From the twisted alleyways of the ancient medina of Fès to a marriage festival high in the Atlas Mountains, Deborah Rodriguez’s entrancing new bestseller is a modern story of forbidden love set in the sensual landscape of North Africa. Author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Zanzibar Wife.
Amina Bennis has come back to her childhood home in Morocco to attend her sister’s wedding. The time has come for her to confront her strict, traditionalist father with the secret she has kept for more than a year – her American husband, Max.
Amina’s best friend, Charlie, and Charlie’s feisty grandmother, Bea, have come along for moral support, staying with Amina and her family in their palatial riad in Fès and enjoying all that the city has to offer. But Charlie is also hiding someone from her past – a mystery man from Casablanca.
And then there’s Samira, the Bennises’ devoted housekeeper for many decades. Hers is the biggest secret of all – one that strikes at the very heart of the family.
As things begin to unravel behind the ancient walls of the medina, the four women are soon caught in a web of lies, clandestine deals and shocking confessions . . .
A huge thank you to the team at Penguin Books Australia for having me in the blog tour celebrating Deborah Rodriguez’s absolutely beautiful new book, The Moroccan Daughter and for sending me a copy to read and review as part of the tour, all thoughts are my own.
The Moroccan Daughter was my first foray into Deborah Rodriguez work, I’d heard nothing but the loveliest things about her writing, so I was excited to finally read something of hers and honestly right from the first page, I was instantly swept up into the lives of our main character Amina, her closest friend Charlie and the latter’s gypsy-esque, blind, bohemian Grandmother, Bea. They’re honestly all such likeable characters, right from the start! Amina, especially, your heart completely goes out to her as she’s dreading having to confront her old fashioned, very strict and traditional Father back home in Morocco, where she’s returning for her Sisters’ pending nuptials.
I love that Bea and Charlie went along with Amina for moral support, I couldn’t help but feel Aminas’ unease throughout the journey back to Morocco and I just felt so bad for her that she felt like she was in such a delicate position, that she felt like her secret marriage to the American Max wouldn’t be approved of, that she’d be shunned and her Father would be completely disappointed in her for marrying someone of her own accord, whereas her sister Naziha was marrying a man pretty much hand picked by her family!
The writing throughout The Moroccan Daughter was perfectly lovely and immersive throughout, so picturesque and vivid too, a complete feast for the senses! I absolutely loved its escapism! The primary setting of The Medina was such a delight to visualise, from the hustle and bustle of stall holders selling their wares, to children running amuck, trying to plead for any spare coins. Then there’s the luscious, wafting aromas of the various spiced flavours of the food bring cooked and sold along the market square, not the mention the bustling household of Aminas’ family, with our main character and her family being welcomed home, with all sorts of delicious dishes being presented on arrival.
Whilst I found The Moroccan Daughter to certainly be more character oriented than plot, personally, I honestly feel like this book was just such a fast paced, addictive read! There were plot twists aplenty, I did not see practically any of them coming and was definitely left quite surprised by what was revealed throughout, it definitely goes to show that not everything was as it seemed upon face value wise in terms of Aminas’ family, that whilst Amina was carrying the secret of her marriage, that her closest friend, Charlie, Bea and the devoted Housekeeper of Aminas’ family were all nursing their own secrets! I was just wholly invested in all these characters throughout and couldn’t help but feel completely engaged throughout this whole story!
I definitely will be reading more Deborah Rodriguez in the future, her writing is not only completely illustrious but how she depicted such a beautiful culture was completely fascinating, from the setting and the food but also going into the grizzly things that women might find themselves subjected to ensure a marriage is honest-to-goodness consumiated and pure! The Moroccan Daughter is a completely enjoyable, page turning read and I know my mind will linger back to the characters with fondness and I completely recommend!