Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean P. Sasson

Synopsis: Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth. She has four mansions on three continents, her own private jet, glittering jewels, designer dresses galore. But in reality she lives in a gilded cage. She has no freedom, no control over her own life, no value but as a bearer of sons. Hidden behind her black floor-length veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, her sons, and her country.

Sultana is a member of the Saudi royal family, closely related to the king. For the sake of her daughters, she has decided to take the risk of speaking out about the life of women in her country, regardless of their rank. She must hide her identity for fear that the religious leaders in her country would call for her death to punish her honesty. Only a woman in her position could possibly hope to escape from being revealed and punished, despite her cloak and anonymity.

Sultana tells of her own life, from her turbulent childhood to her arranged marriage--a happy one until her husband decided to displace her by taking a second wife--and of the lives of her sisters, her friends and her servants. Although they share affection, confidences and an easy camaraderie within the confines of the women's quarters, they also share a history of appealing oppressions, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations; thirteen-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age, young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the "women's room," a padded, windowless cell where women are confined with neither light nor conversation until death claims them. By speaking out, Sultana risks bringing the wrath of the Saudi establishment upon her head and the heads of her children. But by telling her story to Jean Sasson, Sultana has allowed us to see beyond the veils of this secret society, to the heart of a nation where sex, money, and power reign supreme.

My thoughts: an amazing story about a princess who chose to speak her mind in a world where she was taught to silence herself. What makes it more thrilling is the fact that it’s real, that Sultana really existed, despite the fact that her real name isn’t that.

                While reading, I had hopes for Karim. I thought that he would stood up for the princess in her fight for women’s rights, but apparently he just said what he thought would soothe her wild character down. And, my Goddess, how they spend money! I never thought that they were so shopaholics or THAT wealthy (although that in Dubai they are like, craazily rich).

                Despite the few lines between the characters, it doesn’t make the reading less entertaining and fun. I laughed and cried (this last one internally) with this feminist princess that had the guts to get out of her palace and tell the world what women in Saudi Arabia get through.

                Ali got in my nerves as well as his Father. I almost, ALMOST, had a glimpse of hope with the last one, but after it he sank in the abyss of my profound loath for him. Her brother was disgusting: seriously, pictures of women and animals not doing cute or nice things, but dirty and nasty?! Jesus!

                In a society such as ours where we can do things that they can’t even fathom, we don’t give enough value to these little things. This book made me see that what for a few is a lot, for many is ridiculously small.



  1. Hello Lady Book!

    I loved your blog! Can you give some tips for my brand new blog?

    Thx dude!

    1. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk Sure Mylla! Why do I think that I know you from somewhere? ;)

      First you have to think about what kind of blog do you want to have. When you're sure about it, you make it in the way you want it to and explore from there. For example: I've always wanted to create a critics blog to talk about books and study a little bit about Strong women of all times. So I explored it.

      What kind of blog do you have? :)