Read: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi

I was constantly frustrated as I read Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail. It has such potential, a fascinating, real-life story, a woman who grew up among the Moroccan royalty as the king’s adopted daughter, and whose life falls apart when she – along with her mother and young siblings – are imprisoned for 20 years for her father’s failed coup. Her youngest brother is only 3 when it happens and has never experienced life outside the walls of the desert prison.

But Stolen Lives hardly lives up to its promise as the writing is bland and very detached. I came away from it without really feeling much for these poor people, which sounds harsh I know, since these are real people who had to experience these terrible years, and for something they didn’t do.  I am the kind of reader who tears easily and have read many books with a tissue in hand, and I guess I was expecting to feel something…. anything… for this book. For me, the writing absolutely let the story down. And I don’t feel like I can say anything that will help this book, so I will let it be. Maybe you’ll have better luck with it!

Book provided by my library

Dang, I was doing so well with this challenge. This is the first book I’ve been disappointed in since beginning the Reading The World Challenge. This is my read for the African leg – Morocco.


  1. 😦 I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this. It reminds me of a book I read a while ago now called Not without my daughter – a harrowing true story that I did read all the way through because of the story but felt was let down by the writingf. And, dare I say it, I never managed to finish Wild Swans for the same reason… Hopefully the rest of the Reading the World Challenge won’t contain any more disappointments 🙂


    1. I remember reading Not Without My Daughter… it was quite a long time ago…. or am I thinking of the movie? But yes, exactly, this book ought to have been a riveting read but never quite captured my attention. It’s been the only dud of my selection for the challenge so far though!


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