Skip to main content

Book Review: The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten

Some books are so terrific with their cultural backdrop that more than the story you begin taking interest in local customs, people, tribes, rituals, and so on. On the similar lines, we have The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten, a historical fiction. The story opens in 1835 when colonization was taking roots in European culture.

Sibylla Spencer is a strong-headed woman of twenty three, unmarried, and daughter of Spencer Shipping Company’s owner. She has different opinions about the life she is leading in London of 1835. Somehow, she gets on with Benjamin Hopkins, a clerk in Spencer Company. They get married. When Spencer Company’s Moroccan trade agent dies, Sibylla along with her husband moves to Morocco to handle business accounts. Once they are into Mogador, a port city in Morocco, the priorities in their lives begin changing and the love between them evaporated without showing signs of wisps. It is clear that Sibylla is not happy with Benjamin, but still for the sake of her two sons, she drags the relationship. Around the same time, she gets attracted to a French soldier Andre Rouston. They love each other and meet up secretly at a ruined Spanish church.

Sibylla is unaware that her husband is engaged into slave trade and earning fortune. In fact, Benjamin confides in her no more. They live in one house, but do not trust each other, and often Benjamin remains out of home on account of business tour. Clearly, family spirit has broken down. Soon Benjamin is taken as a prison and sent to an isolated island on the charges of illegal business practices.

Sibylla obtains the freedom of his husband with the help of that French soldier, but at that time, French invasion on Algeria spoils the reputation of Morocco as they fail to help France. As a result, French army captures Mogador and heavily bombards that island where Benjamin is kept prisoner. Benjamin is taken as dead, Sibylla later discovers that her husband wasn’t innocent; he was involved into slave trading. She was happy to lose her and have had all intentions to start afresh with Andre Rouston. But fate had some other planning for them in store. Will they meet, like the lovers who first part away and then reconcile?

The story is not about Sibylla only, in fact as you progress you will find her sons and daughter Emily also struggling for some or other things. The culture presented in the book is of prominent value. The storyline is weak because the time span it covers is like rite of passage but still the main characters do not look converging to one focal point. The author left the French invasion part unfinished. The story is more about women of Mogador. Go for it if you liked abstract love stories or half-written historical war fictions. The plus side is that the book will take you on a cultural tour of North Africa.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Poem Summary: The Tale of Melon City by Vikram Seth

The Tale of Melon City by Vikram Seth is a humorous poem about a king who is just opposite the terms ‘just and placid’. Rather the king is excited about everything in his kingdom.

The poem is about one hasty decision of king that costs him his life. He orders to build an arch from where he can instruct the spectators. Well, the construction of the arch goes awry, as when the king stands, the arch being built too low, it touches the crown and as a result it falls down. Falling of the crown is a matter of insult for the king, thus he orders to hang the chief of the builders. Noose and gallows are prepared. The crowd is ready to witness the convict go lifeless. But just in time the chief of builder blames the workmen for fault. Next the workmen are taken to the death penalty; they too cry aloud saying that this is the mistake of a mason. The mason is then put next for the death punishment; well he passes the blame on the architecture. Well, the architecture being a clever guy says that …

Story Summary: The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson

The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson is a short story that highlights the importance of having suave and elegant manners at the time of travelling. In this story, we see that the narrator almost flies over 100,000 miles every year because of his job’s nature. So, we can say that the narrator is an accidental tourist, though he doesn’t enjoy travelling but still he has to because of his job. However in his own words he says that he is sort of a confused man who often forgets the roads and gets into wrong alleys or gets trapped into self-locking doors. In this story, he takes us to some of his awry travel experiences where he did some crazy things, though unwittingly.
Most of his experiences are based around airports or inside the flights. On one instant, while flying to England from Boston with family for Christmas, he forcibly opened the zip of his bag, as a result it broke down and all the stuff littered on the ground. This made him embarrassed and the people around him.
One day in…