Title: The Moroccan Daughter
Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Published: February 2nd 2021
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
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 soul nourishing journey to a far away destination awaits the reader in The Moroccan Daughter by Deborah Rodriguez. Told from the eyes of four very different women, The Moroccan Daughter unveils a story of adventure, drama, emotion, family, unions, friendship, the past and mystery. This latest tale from the author who graced us with the unforgettable title The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul is vivacious and palatable.
Transporting the reader to Morocco, a country filled with vibrant colours, rich scents, entrenched traditions and a unique cultural hub, The Moroccan Daughter is the latest slice of trip fiction from Deborah Rodriquez. Highlighting themes of tradition, values, morals, practices and honour, the lives of four different women unfurl in this spectacular North African backdrop. For Amina, coming home to Morocco after years away to attend her sister’s wedding sees the airing of a secret to her morally devout father. Meanwhile, Amina’s close friend Charlie and her grandmother Bea have travelled to this stunning destination to play tourist, as well as support Amina. But Charlie has a secret she is keeping close to her chest about a mystery man. Finally, The Moroccan Daughter follows the life of Samira, a woman who has served Amina’s family for many years as a housekeeper. But Samira also holds a devastating secret, that will shock the family that has employed her for many years. The latest destination leap from Deborah Rodriguez is a richly woven tale full of secrets, revelations, truths and admissions revolving around the overarching theme of love.
Deborah Rodriguez is best known for her breakout novel, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, which I read for my book club a few years back. The Moroccan Daughter is Rodriguez’s latest contemporary fiction title and it is a tale that requires the reader to pack their virtual suitcase and take a journey to the far-flung destination of Morocco. I know I willingly took up this spot of armchair travel in these pandemic times. The Moroccan Daughter was the perfect book-based escape.
Rodriguez immediately works to establish a strong sense of place within the pages of The Moroccan Daughter. We are soon plunged into a vibrant and colourful world, full of sensory delights. I really enjoyed being whisked away to Morocco, an out of reach destination for me personally until travel restrictions are lifted. Rodriguez invests a great deal of energy in setting her scene and allowing her readership to fully experience all that Morocco has to offer. My senses were definitely on fire as I meandered through the experiences presented in The Moroccan Daughter. On the other side of this aspect of the tale, we are made fully aware of the strict practices, cultural pursuits, belief systems and morals of this North African locale. I appreciated the opportunity to glean more about this country and the people that populate Morocco.
Shifting the viewpoint focus from four different women in The Moroccan Daughter provides Deborah Rodriguez with ample opportunity to explore the very interesting hidden lives of her protagonist set. It was a pleasure to be acquainted with each woman and the wider cast that populates this novel. With plenty of variety in terms of the themes and main issues presented in this new tale from a generous storyteller, the reader is left with much to contemplate. From forbidden love, religious beliefs, family values, long held secrets, shock revelations, confessions, choices and cultural clashes to contend with, The Moroccan Daughter offers a prismatic journey from start to finish. I enjoyed this fanlight into the soul of Morocco.
With an accompanying acknowledgements section, a peek behind the scenes supplement, a set of book club inspired reading group questions and a collection of delectable authentic Moroccan recipes to try, The Moroccan Daughter has much to offer awaiting readers! Book your ticket with Deborah Rodriguez, it is time to be whisked away to a dreamy destination!
The Moroccan Daughter by Deborah Rodriguez was published on 2nd February 2021 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Moroccan Daughter, Deborah Rodriguez, visit here.
*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.