Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I have been meaning to read Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow for a while now, but I am fairly easily distracted, so I didn't get to it till today.

The book is supposed to a pretty big deal, and was even reviewed in the New York Times in the adult section. If I had to guess, I would say that author Faiza Guene had probably intended it to be an adult book, but her publisher has cleverly priced right between adult and YA.

Anyways, the reason there was media around this title is because of the setting, which is the projects in the suburbs of Paris. And the protagonist is a disaffected Arabian youth. So its all rather timely.

Doria and her mother live in a crappy apartment in the Paradise projects. Doria's father (aka the Beard) up and left them six months ago, rumour has it to return to Morocco and find a wife who will give him sons. Meanwhile, Doria is flunking out of school, and her illiterate mother is struggling to make ends meet with her job as a chamber maid at a hotel.

There isn't much of a plot here, as the book basically just follows Doria and her mother in the year or so after the Beard has left them. I didn't mind that so much, as Doria can be quite hilarious at times, and there was definitely a thread of hope throughout, as things improved for her and her mother. That being said, its pretty depressing. Life in the projects is pretty awful, and Doria's experiences with racism are all too commonplace.

So this book is definitely a more personal look at something you normally see only on the news. But I will say that I felt like there could have been a bit more to it. For instance, there's a bit where a boy that Doria grew up with is jailed for something to do with drugs and stolen cars. Doria refuses to believe that his imprisonment is just. So did he do it, or was it all to do with his race? And later on, he becomes a bit of a religious fanatic, and she just says that its good he'll be out of prison soon. It all kind of makes me wish that Guene had bitten off just a bit more.

I should also note that their is a fair amount of swearing in here, and definitely some drugs, too.

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faiza Guene
ISBN 0156030489
192 pages


Post a Comment

<< Home