The Other Americans

The Other Americans
Laila Lalami
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Apr 1, 2023

The Other Americans is a novel that features Nora Guerroui, whose father was killed in a hit and run “accident”. However, there may be more to Driss’s death then there seems at first glance. As new evidence arises, more conflict does as well. Following his death, a band of characters reflect on how they knew Nora’s father, Driss, and how his death impacted their collective lives, whether that is finding new courage or discovering hidden secrets. Nora, who struggles with trusting others, A detective with a son who has been hiding things , a police officer who was a Iraq veteran, a witness who stays silent because of his immigration status, the next door bowling arcade owner who tries his best to get back in his wife and son’s good graces, and Driss himself, who has secrets of his own. 

I have to admit, I was really liking this book until the abrupt ending that it displayed. It was like being invested for a whole 300 pages and then you turn another page and it’s titled “acknowledgements”?! The novel discusses many topics such as parental pressure, the fragility of sisterhood, Islamophobia, race, gender, and many more. I really liked how the plot was set up, with all the characters of the story telling their backgrounds. However, I felt like it could have been more developed instead of just letting the character having only 3 chapters to themself. I especially liked the writing style of the book because of how detailed and apparent everything was, considering this novel threw a lot of names around. I also liked the small plot twist at the end because of how no one expected there to be a small plot twist at the end. Overall, this book had a lot of potential, I just wish that the characters had more backstory and the ending wasn’t so abrupt, but it is a book about Americans, so I guess abrupt endings are expected.

Written by
Iqra N.

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