1 out of 4 stars
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Keys to Tetouan is in the category of historical fiction books written by Mois Benarroch. The book narrates the longing of the people to their homeland and the struggles of the Jews while in exile.
Fernando, after the death of his father, Mois Bezimra, was left with a letter which contains a haunting reality about his father’s past. In order to connect with that past, his life has to be changed forever. It means he had to leave almost everything about him behind, including his identity and beliefs. This led him to travel to his father’s birth place, Tetouan, and to meet many of his relatives. During their interactions, he was able to get the narrations about his Jewish ancestry, how Tetouan was founded and the causes and the outcomes of the exile from it.
In the book, the author narrates how the Jews faced prosecutions and sufferings, but endured all without losing hope for centuries. They kept on persevering and living the Jewish dream to reach to their home of peace, their Israel. Even though some of them digressed along the way, they regretted it later and wished that they had remained on the course of their journey home.
I liked the ideology in the book that, no matter how you tried, you can never get rid of your past and who you are. I also liked how the story relates to the real world, which nowhere is a heaven, and life is not always fair. The book also made me to realize that man is always and would always be in exile, either being in his home country or away.
What I disliked was that the stories in the book were too disorganized, which made it very difficult for me to comprehend. Also, there are a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in the book, which adds to the difficulty in comprehending the writer’s message. I also disliked how the book contains non-English terms without explaining what they meant.
Unfortunately, I would rate this book 1 out of 4 stars due to its too much grammatical errors, lack of organization and non-comprehensiveness. With good editing and proofreading, I could have rated it 4 out of 4 stars.
I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in Zionism and Jewish exile stories. As the book contains killings and violence, I would not recommend it for children under the age of 18 years.
Keys to Tetouan
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