I don't think that, based on this book, I would read another by the same author.
I was a little bit alarmed by the degree of bias about the hijab. I mean, she wrote about it erasing women, stealing their personhood and their rights. I certainly understand that she was writing from her own experience as a Western woman, but it seemed to project a western interpretation of a foreign practice. The whole book did that, really. I think that was both honest and unfair. It made the book interesting, but also disappointing. I mean, one doesn't need to go to the Saudi Kingdom to get a Westerner's take on women's rights in the Middle East.
I loved the chapters about the haj.
It inspired me to find books written by women who are actually from the Saudi Kingdom.
I appreciated the kind of investigatory nature of the book and the "revelation" of the women's world in the Saudi Kingdom.
Someone as naive and with as limited a vocabulary as the main character.
The protagonist knows the behavior is problematic and doesn't even have a desire to experience it, and yet does it anyway, which is just dumb. Plus, every other word is "Holy Jesus," "Oh, my" or "Holy something else." You would think the surprise would wear off after signing the contract and researching the acts. But, no. The naive, dual-word reactions continue all the way through parts one and two, which is where I stopped listening.
The most disappointing thing about the book is the rehearsed powerful-man-is-the-prize-a-naive-young-virgin-values-over-her-own-self-respect plot line. It's so uninventive, i's archetypal but without the mystery.
I thought the reader tried hard to make the repetitive vocabulary interesting and give the blahsville protagonist some character.
No. I cannot figure out why America is so interested in reading this book. I bought it to find out why everyone was buying it. I still have no idea, except to say that readers are just less savvy than I thought.
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