In this haunting novel, journalist and novelist Lawrence Osborne explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of Moroccan Muslims and Western visitors who converge on a luxurious desert villa for a decadent weekend-long party.
David and Jo Henniger, a doctor and a children's book author, in search of an escape from their less than happy lives in London, accept an invitation to attend a bacchanal at their old friends' home, deep in the Moroccan desert. But as a groggy David navigates the dark desert roads, two young men spring from the roadside, the car swerves...and one boy is left dead.
When David and Jo arrive at the party, the Moroccan staff, already disgusted by the rich, hedonistic foreigners in their midst, soon learn of David's unforgiveable act. Then the boy's irate Berber father appears, and events begin to spin beyond anyone's control.
With spare, evocative prose, searing eroticism, and a gift for the unexpected, Osborne memorably portrays the privileged guests wrestling with their secrets amid the remoteness and beauty of the desert landscape. He gradually reveals the jolting backstory of the young man who was killed and leaves David’s fate in the balance as the novel builds to a shattering conclusion.
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Osborne deploys his considerable talents in creating a febrile and frightening scenario...It would be criminal to give away any more of the plot. Occasionally, Osborne's prose has a tendency to overreach itself, but the story is utterly compelling; at the risk of trotting out a cliche, I couldn't put the book down.Read Full Review of The Forgiven: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
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