The Other Americans: A Novel

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In a small town in California, Moroccan immigrant Driss Guerraoui dies in a hit-and-run right after he closes his restaurant for the night. It seems that there are no witnesses, but Efraín Aceves admits privately to his wife that he saw the aftermath and even got a glimpse of the car; however, he too fled the scene, afraid that because he is an undocumented citizen, his coming forward will have him deported. Meanwhile, Driss’s daughter, Nora, an unknown jazz composer who has reluctantly returned home, and his wife, Maryam, who has never felt at home in America, are left wondering who is responsible for this tragedy. Detective Coleman works closely with Nora while also attempting to understand her withdrawn son. And Nora reunites with her former classmate Jeremy, who became a cop after serving in Iraq and who has reached out to help a fellow veteran in trouble.

Along with those of others involved in the case, the first-person accounts of these characters are laced together throughout this stunning novel. Laila Lalami paints a sensitive portrait of immigration without being aggressively political. The mystery itself is wonderfully unpredictable, but the novel’s true strength lies in its distinct and wholly convincing characters who are flawed yet cast in a sympathetic light. Lalami is a master with words. Evocative, poignant, and insightful, The Other Americans is a must-read.


Reviewed By:

Author Laila Lalami
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Pantheon
Publish Date 2019-03-26
ISBN 9781524747145
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Modern Literature
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