Alsace, 1944. Mathilde finds herself falling deeply in love with Amine Belhaj, a Moroccan soldier billeted in her town fighting for the French. After the Liberation, Mathilde leaves her country to follow her new husband to Morocco. But life here is unrecognisable to this brave and passionate young woman. Suffocated by the heat of the Moroccan climate, by her loneliness on the farm, by the mistrust she inspires as a foreigner and by their lack of money, Mathilde grows restless. As violence broods and Morocco''s own struggle for independence grows daily, Mathilde and Amine''s refusal to take sides sees them and their family at odds with their own desire for freedom. How can Mathilde - a woman whose life is dominated by the decisions of men - hold her family together in a world that is being torn apart?
The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds. When Myriam, a brilliant lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband look for a nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family's chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable birthday parties. But as the couple and their nanny become more and more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, until Myriam and Paul's idyllic domesticity is shattered . . .
From the bestselling author of Lullaby 'Riveting.' Evening Standard 'Explosive.' Mail on Sunday 'Thrilling.' Sunday Times 'A must-read.' Vogue Her obsessions devour her. She is helpless to stop them ... Adele has a seemingly enviable life. She is a respected journalist, living in a flawless Paris apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But beneath the veneer of 'having it all', Adele is bored. She begins to orchestrate her life around one-night stands and extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she's been, until her compulsions threaten to consume her altogether.
As she stands at the window, the spring sunshine streaming in, Mathilde reflects on the opportunities before her: it''s April 1968 and Morocco is changing. Looking out at her garden, the roses - brought in from Marrakech - have bloomed and their sweet, fresh scent pervades the garden. The world is opening up and anything feels possible. Work on the pool has just begun and she imagines diving in to cool off from the summer''s baking heat. Indecency. That''s her husband''s word for it, the flagrant display of their glittering success, on show for their labourers to wonder at. But Mathilde has prevailed. Times have changed, and she is determined to celebrate it. Only Mathilde is blissfully unaware of the consequences for her family, her country and its future. Her babies are now grown up, and they are all about to learn how life can take wild and unexpected turns.
In these essays looking at sexual politics in Morocco, Leila Slimani gives voice to young Moroccan women who are grappling with a conservative Arab culture that at once condemns and commodifies sex. In a country where the law punishes and outlaws all forms of sex outside marriage, as well as homosexuality and prostitution, women have only two options for their sexual identities: virgin or wife. Sex and Lies is an essential confrontation with Morocco's intimate demons and a vibrant appeal for the universal freedom to be, to love and to desire.
Leila Slimani is the author of Adele, Sex and Lies and Lullaby, which made Slimani the first Moroccan woman to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. A journalist and frequent commentator on women's and human right