Miramax, Aug 2003, 22.95, 336 pp.
Fourteen yeas ago Rachida left her home on Djerba Island to accept work as a Parisian maid to Countess Poulais du Roc. When she first came to France, Rachida had big dreams, but being nothing more than an indentured servant seemingly for life, her aspirations are gone as she meets her employer's often unreasonable demands. Today she returns from chores in heavy rain to suddenly have a weak skylight collapse on her and kill her. Though the lack of obvious repair with the recent storms caused the incident, no one was held negligible because the victim was a Tunisian expatriate.
A little older than her recently deceased thirty something sister, Fatima accepts the same job and quickly leaves her village of Batouine for Paris. Her adjustment is difficult, but she makes friends much easier than her sibling ever did. As a Tunisian in Paris, Fatima soon finds companions in the nearby café and love with a reticent clerk who believes he is unworthy of her.
Fans of deep character studies who have the good fortune of reading this novel will come away with the thought that the Dryansky writing team has provided a insightful tale of an immigrant's life in Paris. The cast is a delight especially the magical Fatima as every key player seems so real that the audience will think they are sipping café du lait in the Café Jean Valjean with descendants of Victor Hugo. Though not for action seekers, FATIMA'S GOOD FORTUNE is a deep story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner