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Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami Book Review

Laila Lalami is the author of the book Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits which is less than two hundred pages. The book has artistic approach indicating integration of a careful thought. The novel is inspired by the stories about Moroccans trying to cross over to Spain illegally through the strait of Gibraltar, hoping to start a better life in Spain. The novel has sequence of events, starting from the crossing of the sea. The book explains reasons that drive people to make extra ordinary choices. Drowning is symbolic to the challenges people face in life. Lalami develops sympathy in the book. This paper will seek to analyze how Hope and other dangerous pursuit’s sparks risks and immigration in search of better lives. The book entails the stories of two women and men who are separated by circumstances.

Main Body

The novel illustrates illegal immigration. People cross over to Spain through the Stait of Gibraltar. This involves a dangerous trend in that the boats used in crossing over are not equipped to handle the water waves. The movement of the human race from Africa to Europe is evident. It is noted to be one of the greatest movements of people. The exodus relates to big numbers of people. Bodies are washed ashore by waves; immigrants are nabbed frequently from the ships. Illegal immigrants have been found in every corner of Europe. The stories behind these movements are risky and daring. This is the reason Laila Lalami identified the novel in Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits.

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A number of people perish on the immigrations and few are lucky to succeed. Lalami took time and gave a close consideration to perilous journeys. The characters involved in the book by Lalami indicate inadequacies in the migrations. The book has four linked stories indicating the ‘befores’ and ‘afters’ the illegal migrations. The characters differ at some instances, hesitate and take paths that are false. This indicates that people are subject to errors. The book indicates that the four characters meets at the story ‘The Trip’, which is the journey associated with perils. The boats are overloaded indicating the recklessness in handling human life.

The book indicates that the characters who immigrate are affected both positively and negatively as compared to the people who are left behind. Mr Murad is a narrator in Spain who originated from Moroccan where he was hassling as a tourist guide. Immigrants are after material gain citing houses, cars and fancy products. Immigrants get job opportunities, which enables them support their families amicably. There are a number of immigrants who end up in the cells of the European Governments on lacking papers. Some of the immigrants drown in the process of crossing over the sea to Spain. The bodies are washed ashore of the Spain beach by the sea currents. The characters who do not immigrate are influenced by the Westernized mentality of people. Westernization has made people unproductive in Morocco. Larbi is a Moroccan lady who has been westernized.

Lalami considers Murad, Halima, Aziz and Faten. The immigrants are leaving the country with various reasons. Murad was hustling at the tourist in Tangier and finds it important to seek employment in Spain. Halima is fleeing her drunken husband. She lives in the slums of Casablanca where life is considered horrible. Aziz is devoted to his family but lacks formal employment that guarantee a good life. He decides to go to Spain to find employment and improve the lives of his family. Faten is a student and a fanatic of religion. She fears for her life in relation to religious affiliations. The book crafts the stories in a way to capture the reader’s thought. Characters are moving away from the challenges in the hope of a better future in the European countries. This leads to the characters taking risks in crossing the sea to the hope of a better future. The characters indicate similar stories told by the immigrants in the world.

The characters are affected by the acculturation, intergroup relations, stereotypes and discrimination. Immigration influences the cultural composition of the native people. This means that immigrants have to learn and adopt new cultures. This is tricky in that the process involve a change in behavior patterns to suite the culture surrounding.   Intergroup relations take a new shape. This is evident in that cultural diversity encourages diverse ways of solving issues. European people have been discriminative on the African immigrant. Immigrants invade the environment causing congestion and social problems. They also take up jobs leaving the natives jobless. Stereotype is evident on African by the European nations. It has created a bad image on Africans in the sense that most of the immigrants are semi skilled people who take up any job in the market.

The role of push and pull in influencing immigration is evident in Morocco. Push and pull forces leads to immigration. This is associated with the experience that lay ahead of the immigration process. There are a number of forces that influence immigration between the West African countries and the European countries. The reasons are complex and simple, as well. European employers hire the immigrants at a higher wages. This is in contrast with the wages attained in the developing nations. There are a number of other reasons that drive immigrations high among which includes, stable economy and political setup. The European countries have stable economies and political stability. This pushes attractive destinations for illegal immigrants.

European countries establish that there are three main drivers of immigration namely; Global economic changes, ineffective employer sanctions in the native countries and the inadequacy legal structures that influence economic mutations. European nations find easy employing immigrants, in that their pay is limited, and they work for long hours. This has assisted in dropping the production costs in large companies.

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Globalization is the major cause of illegal immigration. This is by enablement of liberalized trade, which has facilitated transportation and information technologies. These have enabled people move from one place to another in the world. Moroccans cross over through the canal to Spain in boats and ships. Globalization has led to push and pulls in labour availability, production, distribution and the consumption patterns. Europeans nations have opened up investments by the outside countries. This has enabled increased need for the skilled and the semi skilled workers attracting a pool of immigrants.

Inadequate law channels in the European countries have led to the increased immigration. The low skilled individuals are flocking the economies of European nations with a storm. This has assisted in the development of the European economy significantly. Most of the low skilled individuals in the European nations are illegally working in the country reflecting leniency of the European nation. Influx of the illegal Africans in the European job market has created competition between the natives in job markets.

Ineffective employer sanctions have driven the illegal immigration. This develops when the European employers are ready to hire the illegal immigrants. This indicates that the job market is ready and open. Illegal immigrants do not struggle getting lob opportunities. Employer sanctions in the European nations are ineffective in verifying employment eligibility, ineffective immigration enforcements and absence in political will to end immigration due to deficit in local labour supply.

Developing nations have large populations with few available job opportunities. This is Cleary states problems faced by the four characters in the book by Laila Lalami. The book has stated unemployment, domestic violence, educational search and the political instability. Faten and Halima is a Moroccan lady with three children who has faced domestic fights and is in the process of immigrating to escape the domestic abuse. Aziz is an academic failure in Morocco with a mechanic training at hand. This pushes people in migrating to European nations in search of greener pastures. The immigrants hope for better lives and go ahead in pursuing dangerous paths as illustrated by laila Lalama.


Laila Lalima book of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits indicates that the author has an eye for details. The stories indicate the happenings at the real ground. This has assisted the readers to contemplate on the immigration from Morocco to the Spain. This has developed affection and sympathy to the characters. The book addresses challenges that the West African and Europeans face on human races. The book addresses the topic on immigration in a brave way. It is characterized with boldness, beauty and sensitivity. The book explains the reasons underlying the notions why people take risks in their lives for the search of a better future.

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