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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fatima’s Fate by Dana Sudboro

Fatima’s Fate by Dana Sudboro
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short (114 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

One month before her visa expires, Fatima Dede begs her pastor to act as matchmaker and find her a Christian husband. If she returns to Mauritania, she must marry the Muslim her parents and imam picked out—or die as a martyr for her newfound faith in Jesus.

Her pastor comes up with three candidates: Stuart, a practical-minded widower with two children; Amir, a self-styled playboy who loves to spend his father's money; and Barry, who drops out of the running when Fatima shows up late.

Time and circumstance introduce a fourth candidate: Chad, a secret admirer who finally works up the nerve to ask Fatima out. He knows nothing of her crisis, and she's afraid to tell him, lest this serendipitous chance of romance fly away.

Will Fatima find the courage to reveal her plight?
Fatima has a problem. How can she tell her parents she has changed her faith and doesn’t want to go through with the marriage they’ve arranged?

Training to be a doctor in America has altered Fatima’s life. Soon after her arrival she became a Christian, but now the time to return home to Mauritania is fast approaching and she still hasn’t told her parents about her conversion. She feels she cannot go home or marry the man they have chosen for her. In desperation Fatima can only think of one solution. To marry an American citizen so she can stay in America. Fatima approaches her pastor for help.

With only four weeks until her parents arrive and her visa expires, Fatima goes on dates arranged by the pastor. One date goes awry when Chad, a man from the hospital where she works, arrives to ask her out and Fatima mistakes him for her blind date. The two become friends and Fatima is happy to get to know him better. Of all her arranged meetings Stuart, a widower looking for a mother for his two young children, seems the ideal choice but he would expect Fatima to give up her career.

This was a nice story with a strong Christian background. Conflict is provided when Fatima’s choice between Chad and Stuart is complicated by the shortage of time until her parents arrive to take her home. More difficulties arise when she falls in love with one of the men, but this is followed by a misunderstanding which forces her to re-evaluate her position.

I felt the Christian background thrust itself into the foreground at times, overwhelming the story, and some of the lesser characters were not as believable as the main ones. However Fatima shows strength of character and faith when she refuses to give up her quest and bow to her parents wishes.

The story shows the difference between two cultures in a very sympathetic way. Fatima’s inner turmoil adds tension to the story and moves the reader along at a reasonable place. Fatima’s Fate is pleasant to read and touches on a subject which must arise quite often in today’s fast moving world.