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***Fatima's Good Fortune

by Joanne and Gerry Dryansky

Reviewed October 9, 2003.
Miramax Books, New York, 2003.  326 pages.

Fatima’s Good Fortune is a thoroughly delightful book.

Fatima Monsour, from the Tunisian island of Djerba, has always been considered the unluckiest woman in her village.  After all, it took her years to get married, and then her husband left her childless and sent her a divorce in the mail and moved to America.

When Fatima gets a chance to go to France with a job as a maid to a Countess, she isn’t sure her luck has changed.  She isn’t sure she can please the particular Countess, and she finds Paris bewildering.

However, Fatima has always had a gift of understanding people and a wisdom in giving advice and comfort.  People around her begin to change for the better.  Is Fatima’s luck perhaps also beginning to change?

There are some flaws in this book.  The viewpoint skips around willy-nilly, even dipping into the thoughts of a dog now and then.  There’s a scene toward the beginning when all the many occupants of a café are introduced, one after the other, so we can’t possibly keep them all straight.

All the same, this book shares some of the magic of the City of Light.  A delightful and intriguing story.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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