In her exciting debut, Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco and offers an authentic look at the Muslim immigrant experience today.The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain. There's Murad, a gentle, educated man who's been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who's fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife to find work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. What has driven these men and women to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about people in search of a better future.