Thursday, April 07, 2011

On My Nightstand - Princess

Princess - by Jean Sasson

On the back cover:
Recently named as one of the best 500 books written by women since the year 1300, Princess has been called “riveting” and “heart-wrenching.”  Most importantly, this New York Times bestseller galvanized human rights activity all over the world.  The book sold over 4 million copies worldwide and struck a chord with women of every age and nationality.  Many educators are listing Princess as required reading for their literature classes.

Jean Sasson spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia observing first-hand the hardships faced by women in the country.  In Princess, Jean Sasson vividly depicts the harsh restrictions endured by Saudi women.  Telling the true story of “Sultana,” a pseudonym that protects the identity of a modern-day princess in the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the author describes a disproportionate society where men have all the power.

“Sultana” whose real name cannot be used for fear of death for revealing these secrets to the world, asked the author to tell her story.  Together, Jean Sasson and Princess Sultana have lifted the black veil of secrecy that hides women in the fabulously wealthy land where thirteen-year-old girls are married against their will to men five times their age; where young women are stones to death for a mere indiscretion; where women cannot travel without their husband’s permission; where men rule as gods.

Princess is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and great courage.  You have never read a story like the story of Sultana; you will never forget her or her Muslim sisters.

My thoughts:
I was very surprised, but I really liked this book.
First it is a true story - not a big fan of non-fiction, second it is set in a country and whole I know nothing about, so I was not all to eager to read it.  But this was a book chosen for book club, so I sat down and started to read, I am not sure I stopped until the book was done.

It is shocking, riveting and scary all at the same time.  I felt so much for these women and girls.  We have all heard about honour killings, but to hear it told knowing it is true, made me really stop and think.

I think all women, and teenage girls should read this book.  Sometimes I don't think we realize just how lucky we are to be born into the freedom and rights we have.

My rating: 5 out of 5.

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