“FOURTEEN KILOMETERS. Murad has pondered that number hundreds of times in the last year, trying to decide whether the risk was worth it. Some days he told himself that the distance was nothing, a brief inconvenience, that the crossing would take as little as thirty minutes if the weather was good.”
For many Muslims living in Morocco, the idea of escape to the West is the promise of a better life: a job, the ability to feed one’s family, security. But the crossing of 14 Kilometers across the Strait of Gibraltar in a small boat or inflatable raft is dangerous. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is a deftly written novel about the lives of four Moroccan immigrants and what drove them to seek a better life in Spain.
From the first pages, the author had me hooked. This is a can’t-put-down book that left you cheering for the characters, and weeping for them when things didn’t quite turn out as they’d hoped. For anyone who has the privilege of living in a prosperous country, this book should make you grateful and compassionate towards those who desire to live the life you are blessed with.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2005