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Mathilde, a spirited young Frenchwoman, falls in love with Amine, a handsome Moroccan soldier in the French army during World War II. After the war, the couple settles in Morocco. While Amine tries to cultivate his family farm's rocky terrain, Mathilde feels her vitality sapped. Left increasingly alone to raise her two children in a world whose rules she does not understand she goes from being reduced to a farmer's wife to defying the country's chauvinism and repressive social codes by offering medical services to the rural population. As tensions mount between the Moroccans and the French colonists, Amine finds himself despised by the French yet married to a Frenchwoman, and proud of his wife's resolve but ashamed by her refusal to be subjugated. All of them live in the country of others and with this novel, Leila Slimani issues the first salvo in their emancipation.