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Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes: A Novel - Betsy Woodman Rating: 3* of five The Book Description: Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family.Janet Laird's life changed the day she inherited her grandfather's house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son's arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors—Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant—and Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes is born. My Review: It's just fine! Fine and dandy and pleasant and nice and it's got interesting features and is kind to puppies and kitties.It's the nice guy your friends set you up with who talks about ordinary stuff in a pleasant voice and, when he moves in for a goodnight kiss, you can't think of a reason not to let it happen but when the door closes you can't remember his name. Or anything else about him...was he wearing khakis or a tux? Dunno.Do you need that book right now? Here it is! And goodness knows most of us need that kind of book once in a while. “Farb,” a friend of mine calls them. This book is perfect farb, the pinnacle of farbosity, the paradigm by which farbaceousness is measured.I don't remember one single thing about it, except when Janet aka Jana Bibi, married the missionary as a young woman I wanted to slap her into next week for being so stupid! And I was right. Oh, and the description of smallpox is awful, just awful. And that, as they say, is me, what about you?