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Fortune Catcher
     

Fortune Catcher

4.5 2
by Susanne Pari
 

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Iranian love story.

Overview

Iranian love story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Returning home to Iran after their Ivy League educations, Layla and Dariush fall in love and marry, but their lives take a tragic turn when they are caught up in the Islamic Revolution. This well-observed but shallow debut from Iranian-American Pari offers a vivid picture of the turbulent era. A domineering, fundamentalist grandmother, a culturally schizophrenic cousin and a calculating Israeli secret agent are among the people who determine the couple's future as they struggle through war, torture, flight and separation. Pari offers a wealth of informative detail in her depictions of the Iranian aristocracypartying in the days of the Shah, living underground in revolutionary Iran, salvaging what they can in exile. She uses a range of local color, including folklore, domestic objects and sensory images, to evoke a range of experience, such as the comfort of visiting the servants' room or the pain of imprisonment, ironically both in the same house. Yet weak characterization destroys credibility. Among the characters, love never falters, obsessions never fade, servants stay unswervingly loyal. In the end, the drama of the escape and the melodrama of the romance undermine the more serious portrait of a country in turmoil. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
A plot-twisting debut about two lovers caught up in the Islamic Revolution of the '70s who defy torture, a monstrous grandmother, and a psychopathic spy.

In richly detailed settings that range from Long Island to Tehran, Pari offers an equally diverse range of characters to tell the story of golden couple Layla and Dariush, whose bright future will turn horribly dark. Layla, the daughter of an Iranian businessman and an American Jew whose family disowned her, was raised in New York after her mother's accidental death, but spent summers in Tehran with her family and their close neighbors. Maman Bozorg, the neighbors' matriarch, is a fervent fundamentalist who regards Layla and her father as decadent Westerners, disapproves of her own two sons and their wives, and plots to save the family by getting her two grandchildren, cousins Dariush and Mariam, to marry. Dariush loves Layla, however, and so in the US, where he's a student, the two become engaged. When the Revolution occurs, and Dariush doesn't return home, Maman schemes not only to get him back but to have him drafted, hoping that he can finally be separated from Layla while he serves behind the lines in the war against Iraq. Layla accompanies Dariush to Iran, although a fortune-teller once warned her not to—and rightly: Dariush deserts from the army, the lovers marry, but, as they're about to flee the country, Dariush is arrested and sent to the front, and Layla caught and tortured. The couple is not only up against Maman but also Amir, a Mossad spy and former schoolmate of Dariush's who hates him and wants Layla for himself. Meantime, a pregnant Layla escapes to America, but the story ratchets the tension up even farther before the badly wounded Dariush, once thought dead, can join her. The turns and twists can be more dizzying than riveting, but, still, an accomplished first novel about loving dangerously in dangerous times.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446606318
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/1999
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.97(d)

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Fortune Catcher 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this novel is not a bestseller. I am an avid reader, especially about Middle Eastern issues. Although it is technically fiction, this author does an excellent job of intertwining factual cultural realities and historical events with her intruging fictional characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was very intriguing. It is 'dripping' with suspence. The author's way of story telling made me feel as if I was actually amongst the characters. Emotions seemed so real. What an amazing story of love, deceit, obsessions, heardache and triumph!!