The Country of Others
by Leïla Slimani
Books > Fiction > Staff Picks
The award-winning, #1 internationally bestselling new novel by the author of The Perfect Nanny–a passionate interracial love story between a Moroccan soldier who fought for France in World War II and a French woman whose fierce desire for autonomy parallels colonial Morocco’s fight for independence
Mathilde, a spirited young Frenchwoman, falls in love with Amine, a handsome Moroccan soldier in the French army during World War II. After the war, the couple settles in Morocco to start a farm. While Amine tries to cultivate the rocky and unforgiving terrain, Mathilde feels suffocated by the harsh climate. Alone and isolated with her two children, she struggles with assimilation and classism. The ten years of the novel are also those of a rise in tensions and violence that will lead in 1956 to Morocco’s independence. All the characters in this novel live “in the country of others”: settlers vs. natives, soldiers vs. peasants, and exiles. Women, especially, live in the country of men, and must constantly fight for their emancipation.