Secret Son

by Laila Lalami

The frustration of being the teenage son of a single mother is clear enough. You wonder which way Youssef will go - into the arms of the fundamentalists, or the corruptly wealthy world of his newly discovered father. But as both turn to dust, there is yet another sting waiting.


Youssef rubbed his bare chin, the skin smooth from the close shave earlier in the morning. That had been one of the conditions of employment at the Grand Hotel in Casablanca: no facial hair. Also: no skullcaps, no tribal tattoos, no police record, no qualms about the presence of alcohol. The bellhops wore white jellabas and red fezzes, but all other employees in the hotel had to wear a suit. Bareheaded women could work anywhere, but those who wore headscarves had to work in the back office. The restaurant was called Al Minzah, but the menus were printed in French. Welcome to Morocco, Youssef thought, no need to experience the real country if a sanitized version can be had instead.


Sardines and Oranges by Val McDermid
Wives of the East Wind by Liu Hong

Read Extract

Books with similar rating


1. Select UK region:

Not in the UK?

Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

Sign in


Whichbook Sign Up

Enter your email address to get started:

First name:
Last name:
Confirm password:


Email alerts are only available for registered users.