On the remote far north east coast of Qatar a village awaits the return of its menfolk from long days of diving for pearls. It’s the summer of 1928 and life is hard. Pearling is the only means of income and if the divers don’t do well the villagers won’t be able to survive. The Al Bahr family live in Al Mafjar and Al Khor, some are fortunate, some are not. Lubna Al Bahr will have to marry soon but who will her parents choose for her? Despite the hardships, she is happy living a simple life with her mother, father and brother in the village but all this could soon change.
Through the turmoil of war and dramatic times in the Middle East ‘The House of Fortune’ follows the family through the decades, interchanging with events in Cairo, Kuwait and Qatar where just as the colonial days appear to be over, oil becomes the focus of attention. Now Qatar is the richest nation on earth but what was it like in the formative times of the 50s, 60s and early 70s as a nation was created? The simple ways of the desert and the sea yield to the demand for development. The Al Bahr family try to change with the times and one particular house becomes the focus of daily life, but can those within its walls adapt to the dramatic circumstances they face?
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My favourite authors are William Boyd, Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Faulks, Donna Tartt, Ian McEwan, Olivia Manning, Patrick Gayle, Lawrence Durrell, Edmund White, Paul Scott, Helen Dunmore, Ernest Hemingway, Alan Hollinghurst, Graham Greene, Jessie Burton, Louis de Bernieres.