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the first thing that bothered me was the narrator's diction, emphases and pace. Although her voice has a fine timbre and tone, she reads at the top of her voice and her speech is pressured -- throughout. I thought I would adapt, but could not. Then I began to read at double speed to evaluate the story itself. It was a disappointment, too. At first I thought I was reading a Cinderella tale for disillusioned teens; the search of a fatherless son for his paternity and a place in the sun is an archetypal motif that deserves better treatment than to serve as a vehicle for the author to focus on the exploitation of youth by radical Islam parties. Surely the plight of impoverished and unemployed Moroccan underclasses in this age of political and religious strife deserves a more thoughtful exploration than she offers -- which was why I chose the book in the first place.
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