The Fortune Catcher

Susanne Pari, Author, Suzanne Pari, Author Warner Books $21.5 (436p) ISBN 978-0-446-52071-3
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 aristocracy--partying 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.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 431 pages - 978-1-931223-08-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-446-60631-8
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