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Publisher's Summary

The two-time Pulitzer Prize and three-time National Book Award-nominated author of the best seller Le Divorce returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents.

Lulu Sawyer, the heroine of Diane Johnson's captivating new novel, arrives in Marrakech, Morocco, hoping to rekindle her romance with a worldly Englishman, Ian Drumm. It's the perfect cover for her assignment with the American CIA: tracing the flow of money from well-heeled donors to radical Islamic groups.

While spending her days poolside among Europeans, in villas staffed by local maids in abayas, and her nights at lively dinner parties, Lulu observes the fragile coexistence of two cultures which, if not yet clashing, have begun to show signs of fracture. Beneath the surface of this polite expatriate community lies a more sinister world laced not only with double standards, but with double agents.

As she navigates the complex interface of Islam and the West, Lulu stumbles into unforeseen intrigues: A young Muslim girl, Suma, is hiding from a brother intent on an honor killing; and a beautiful Saudi woman, Gazi, who is vying for Ian's love, leaves her husband in a desperate bid to escape her repressive society. The more Lulu immerses herself in the workings of Marrakech, the more questions emerge; and when bombs explode, the danger is palpable.

Lulu's mission ultimately has tragic consequences, but along the way readers will fall in love with this endearing young woman as she improvises her way through the souk, her love life, and her profession.

As in her previous novels, Diane Johnson weaves a dazzling tale in the great tradition of works about naive Americans abroad and the laws of unintended consequence, with a new, fascinating assortment of characters, as well as witty, trenchant observations on the manners and morals of a complicated moment in history.

©2008 Diane Johnson (P)2008 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Timely and provocatively incorrect, Lulu in Marrakech is part page-turning thriller, part in-depth examination of gender inequality and the ‘perennial eye infection of colonialism.’" (Oprah.com, Mysteries Every Thinking Woman Should Read)

“She has blended her interest in heavier issues with a lightness of touch... Johnson's novel is not only a gripping page-turner - I don't know when I last just plain enjoyed reading a novel as much as this one - but a serious examination of how a 'good person' can get involved in some very dark things.” (Martin Rubin, SF Gate)   

“As the bemused observer of a complicated, chatty multicultural social set - and her own complicated romantic yearnings - [Lulu]’s a cool, self-aware delight.” (Entertainment Weekly

What listeners say about Lulu in Marrakech

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 11-27-11

Underwhelming

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

This book was a disappointment. I chose it because I was traveling to Marrakech, and enjoy reading a book set in the locale I will be visiting. The

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Not an intense story

This story is more about comparing cultures than an intense plot. Food for thought.

1 person found this helpful