Secret Son by Laila Lalami
Youssef El Mekki is a young man growing up in an impoverished slum of Casablanca, Morocco with his mother. He has always been told that his father was a teacher who worked odd jobs for extra money and was killed in a tragic accident. Then, one day, he discovers that his father is truly a (living) wealthy business man who fooled around on his wife with Youssef’s mother. Due to the circumstances surrounding Youssef’s discovery and his attempts to reconnect with his father, Youssef begins to spend more and more time at the community center of a somewhat radical Islamic group known as The Party.
I thought that “The Secret Son” was a fantastic look at the desperate circumstances that end up radicalizing many young men around the world. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, particularly through the end of the book. The beginning was a bit of a slow start for me, but once Youssef began to learn the truth about his father it really picked up. I really enjoyed this look into modern life in Morocco.