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Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow    by Faďza Gučne order for
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow
by Faďza Gučne
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Doria, a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl, with emigrant parents, lives in the Paradise Projects outside of Paris. Her father wants a son because Doria 'didn't exactly meet customer specifications.' Tired of trying with her mother, her father deserts them and returns to Morocco where he marries a second wife so he can have the son he needs for his pride, reputation, and family honor. Her mother thinks what happened is her fault, but Doria knows that her father and fate are the culprits.

Doria's mother is illiterate and the only work she can find is a job at the Formula 1 Motel where her boss calls her Fatima even though her name is Yasminia. He keeps a close watch to make sure she doesn't steal anything from the rooms she cleans. The work is hard with long hours, and her mother cries at night when she thinks Doria is asleep.

Doria's future looks bleak. She is failing her school work and her mother can hardly makes ends meet with her low paying job and welfare stamps. Ever-changing social workers parade through their apartment to offer help, and Doria sees a psychologist because her teachers think she is 'shut down or closed off.'

Then things begin to change for Doria. A single mother hires her to regularly babysit her daughter, and her mother leaves her motel job to take a literacy course. Maybe the social workers have finally done something right. Kif-Kif (same old-same old) is what Doria always says when she is down. Now she is learning to change that Arab phrase into kiffe kiffe from the French verb kikfer which means to be crazy about something.

Doria's first person account is heartbreaking, funny and hopeful. Don't miss this international best seller, from new writer Faďza Gučne, and translated by Sarah Adams.

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