3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Short but thought provoking and moving tale,
This review is from: Palace in the Old Village, A (Paperback)
This is a wonderful little book but too short and therefore you are paying much per sentence. The main character is a Moroccan who emigrated to France to work in a factory. He has reached retirement age, which comes as a complete shock as he is at odds to know what to do with all that time in La France as he calls it- despite the fact that he believes in the small town in Morocco time flows so slowly as to nearly come to a halt.
His pending retirement makes him reflect on his life and in particular his relationships with his adult children all of whom have been born and grown up in France. He finds their attitudes alien and the cultural divide between him and them is quite tragic to read.
The main direction of the story other than pondering on life and why it doesn't always take the path we want is that he wants to bring his family together - and to solve that problem dreams of building a fairytale house in his home town in Morocco. But the real pleasure of this book is its evocation of the life of an immigrant, much is written about multiculturalism from a European perspective but this shows the trials and tribulations from a man taken out of his land and overwhelmed at times by the life he has chosen.
Its written in a simple and easy language, but, in using our simple man the author conveys serious messages and the hard choices we all have to make. Made all the more poignant by the Arab spring. My only gripe is the length, the rather abrupt ending and price - otherwise 5 stars for me.