Faten’s happy life in her village comes to an abrupt end when her father arranges for her to work as a servant for a wealthy Beirut couple with two spoiled daughters. What does a bright, ambitious seventeen-year-old do when she is suddenly deprived of her friends, family, education and freedom?
About the Author
Fatima Sharafeddine is an award-winning Lebanese writer who has twice been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She was born in Beirut and spent her early childhood in Sierra Leone. Her family returned to Lebanon when she was still a child, and she spent fifteen years living through the Lebanese civil war. After receiving a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, she moved to the United States to pursue her graduate studies. She earned a Masters degree in education and another in Arabic literature. She has taught preschool in Houston, and Arabic language and culture classes at Rice University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Servant based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Back in December and January I signed up for many (too many) reading challenges and as per usual I am drastically behind especially with my Middle Eastern Reading Challenge which is why when I saw that my library had The Servant I had to read it. The Servant was a really wonderful coming of age story about a young Lebanese girl named Faten working in Beirut during the late 1980's during a turbulent time in the city's history. Faten is a maid for a family but dreams of bigger and better things for herself and wants to be a nurse. Unfortunately her father forces her to work and takes all her pay leaving her stuck as the lives of others seem to pass her buy in her two years of servitude. I really enjoyed this book because I love reading novels no matter the genre set in different places and this was the first book I've ever read set in Beirut and it won't be my last. There is such a sense of hope in Faten's story and I really connected to her as a character. I hated the way she was treated as a servant not as a human being but I loved how strong she was and how determined she was to get her education even if it got her into trouble I liked how the novel ended. It definitely ended on a brighter note and there was a lightness to it that was absent in the beginning. This was definitely Faten's story and she was the main character and the most developed out of the rest of the cast of characters and I just wish they also had a little more substance which is why I did not give this book 5 stars. I enjoyed seeing Faten grow and become a strong independent young woman and thought her story was inspirational. The writing is what surprised me most since I'm not usually a fan of shorter novels but author Fatima Sharafeddine created such a realistic story I was very drawn to the story. While the book was a short and quick read it did pack a punch and there was a lot of skill demonstrated in the way the author chose to tell her story. Overall, this is probably one of the best YA books I've read this year. It was a nice change to read a book set somewhere else in the world and see life through another persons eyes during a hard time in history. Plus I loved learning about a culture that while I'm not totally unfamiliar with still has some mysteries for me and I enjoyed being exposed to it through reading Faten's story. I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary young adult fiction that is set in a unique place with a strong heroine and a story about discovering one's own sense of self.