The author of The Perfect Nanny returns with a new award-winning, #1 international bestselling novel about a woman in an interracial marriage whose fierce desire for autonomy parallels her adopted country's fight for independence.
Men's worlds are similar to botany's worlds. In the end, one species triumphs over the other. The orange will eventually triumph over the lemon, or vice versa, and the tree will once again produce edible fruit.
Leila Slimani draws on her own family's inspiring story for the first volume in a planned trilogy about race, resilience, and women's empowerment, in her first new novel since The Perfect Nanny launched her onto the world stage and won her acclaim for her "devastatingly perceptive character studies" (The New York Times Book Review).
During World War II, Mathilde, a vivacious young Frenchwoman, falls in love with Amine, a handsome Moroccan soldier in the French army, and the couple eventually settles in Morocco. Mathilde's vitality is sapped by the isolation, harsh climate, lack of money, and mistrust she inspires as a foreigner, while Amine tries to cultivate the rocky terrain of his family farm. Mathilde goes from being reduced to a farmer's wife to defying the country's chauvinism and repressive social codes by offering medical services to the rural population, as she is increasingly alone to raise her two children in a world whose rules she does not understand, and as her daughter is taunted at school by rich French girls for her secondhand clothes and unruly hair by rich French girls, Mathilde goes from being reduced to a farmer's wife to defying the country
As tensions between Moroccans and French colonists rise, Amine finds himself caught in the middle: in support of his Moroccan workers but also a landowner, despised by the French but married to a Frenchwoman, and proud of his wife's determination but ashamed of her refusal to be subjugated. All of them live in other people's countries–especially the women, who are forced to live in men's countries–and Leila Slimani's novel is the first salvo in their emancipation.... Read More