The Servant

The Servant Cover

The Servant

By Fatima Sharafeddine

Groundwood Books, Hardcover, 9781554983070, 157pp.

Publication Date: August 20, 2013


Faten’s happy life in her village comes to an abrupt end when her father arranges for her to work as a maid for a wealthy Beirut family with two spoiled daughters. What does a bright, ambitious 17-year-old do when she is suddenly deprived of her friends, family, education, and freedom? Enlisting the help of Marwan, the mysterious, wealthy young man who lives in the next apartment building, Faten finally figures out how to pursue her studies in secret. Even against the uncertain backdrop of the civil war, their romance develops, as Marwan and Faten conspire to exchange notes and meet at an idyllic seaside café. But in Lebanese society the differences in religion, class, and wealth are stacked against them, and their parents have very different ideas about what their futures should be. An engaging and lucidly written coming-of-age novel.

Praise For The Servant

Selected for the American Library Associations's Amelia Bloomer Project List

"[Faten’s story] will draw in young readers preoccupied with society, challenging parents and their own fears." — New York Times

"Fans of literary and historical fiction will be drawn to this rich portrayal of the challenges faced and opportunities forged by brave young women in patriarchal, war-torn Lebanon." — Kirkus Reviews

"Shortly after he enters his building, the young man appears in his apartment. Faten watches his movements from the corner of the little window in her room. He appears here. Disappears. Reappears there. He plays the piano sometimes, and Faten watches. Her heart jumps at every glimpse she gets of him."
from the book