I discovered @lailalalami this past year purely through this novel.
I had not read her before.
“The Moor’s Account” recounts the story of Mustafa who grew up in Morocco, became a merchant and then a slave during The Spanish conquest of the New World.
I know very little about this time in history and unfortunately this topic was not part of my history syllabus when I was in school. So, although a work of fiction, this was really enlightening.
While reading, you will be taken through the life journey of Mustafa. You will see him becoming a young man, defying his father with his choice of profession and even selling slaves as greed takes him over, before becoming a slave himself to save his starving family and in a way looking for redemption in the eyes of his father.
The story line focusing on the conquest of the New World, which I enjoyed less, will see Mustafa now Estebanico doing everything possible to gain his freedom again, even questionable things that will be difficult for him accept. He will even be treated as an equal, or so he thought for a time by the same people who enslaved him and will quickly realise that a leopard does not change its spots.
It is obvious that the author has researched this part of history in great details and loves the subject and this is seen throughout her writing of this tale.
This is a beautifully told story that lovers of historical fiction will enjoy.