The book follows a bright, ambitious, sensitive young girl—فاتن—as she is brought by her parents to Beirut for the first time and placed into service with a wealthy family. What happens to her and to the family’s elder girl, Dalia, form the center of the novel.
The novel is both a breakthrough for Sharafeddine, who had not previously written YA, and for the entire YA genre in Arabic. Sharafeddine’s book—along with two by Samah Idris, and another by him released at this year’s Beirut fair, فلافل النازحين—provides a model of simple, beautiful, straightforward prose, written in short sentences for easy and enjoyable digestion by adolescent readers.
Oh! And ألف مبروك، يا فاطمة. We all can’t wait for the next one!
More about the book:
More pictures (I hope Fatima and Kalimat don’t mind my theft of these!):