Isn't that a great title? For Lalami's four main characters it's the hope of a new and better life that compels them to leave their old lives in Morocco and risk illegally crossing the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain. Halima is escaping an abusive husband. Aziz wants to earn enough money to provide for his wife, Zohra. Murad just wants a job. And Faten has been expelled from college and marked by the authorities for her militant views; now she needs to leave Morocco for her own protection. For these four, hope and danger go hand in hand.
My library didn't have a copy of this book, but I found a used copy online at Powells and bought it for $5.50. And I'm so glad I did! It's not a long novel, just 195 pages, but Lalami packs her pages with the flavors and melodies of Morocco, and each character's journey is so well-told I found myself wishing that this novel was twice as long. This is one book I will definitely read again!