Ladydragonfly reviewed Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life on
Helpful Score: 4
I don't usually read memoirs, but this one looked interesting. I am so glad I did not pass it up.
This is a wonderfully written book that offers an honest insight into life in the middle east as it is in the country of Jordan. It opened my eyes to the role the media plays in misleading the public about political affairs.
much better. I was hoping for more about her life as Queen and living with a King. Instead, I found there was too much about the controvsy in the middle east and policitcal ramifications. Not exactly what I was hoping for, especially the negative remarks about the United States and our leaders.
I found the book very interesting. The Queen's life has been remarkable. I was particularly pleased with the depth provided, into the life of King Hussein - as a person, a world leader, and often frustrated peace initiator. This book would be a great read for anyone with the open mind to begin exploring the middle east as explained by middle easterners. It is an eye opener.
From the pen of the wife of the King of Jordan who explains how this Muslim family worked with other leaders around the world maintaining peace as best they could..light reading, but touching ending details about the King's death.
This was a very interesting book but I had to take breaks here and there (reading 2 books at once) because I felt this was a very intense read! This book explains a lot about the Palastinian/Israeli conflict, politics between the usa and middle east, as well as a sweet love story between an American woman who fell in love with and married King Hussein of Jordan. Whether you are American, Middle Eastern, Muslim or Christian this is an interesting read.
Sandy W. (SJW) - reviewed Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life on
Helpful Score: 1
I was most surprised at this offering. I had so many misconceptions of the mindset of peoples of the region that this was a real eye opener. I highly recommend this book for anyone who thinks Arabs are all extremists or terrorists. Very good book.
There are few books that that describe the Arab view of life and living. This is one that I would recommend for anyone wondering why all the peace treaties in the Middle East have broken down, or why Jordan supports the Palestinian people, or just what happened to Lisa Halaby-the girl who married King Hussein of Jordan in 1978. It is a remarkably frank and believable account of Jordan's struggles with its Arab neighbors, Israel, the
U. S., and European countries, told from the unusual viewpoint of an Arab queen. Very thought-provoking!
This was a very interesting book. I have to say, I didnt agree with a lot of the politics mentioned in this book. However, this book was loaded with great info on the Israel/Palestinian conflict, Iran/Iraq war. The 6- day war, etc. I thought the perspective was very unique. An American born woman who marries the King of Jordan and becomes a Muslim. How unique can you get. If her intention was to show what a kind and peaceful man King Hussein was, she nailed it. If all was true, he was definitely a great man. I wasnt that impressed with her. I felt she was a bit pompous. Especially about the part where her mother was forbidden to call her Lisa and was forced to call her Noor. I felt Noor was very influenced by her love for the King. She did have her own ideas but they seemed to be extremely liberal and biased. But, this was definitely a different view point for me. Although I did not agree with a lot of the politics with this book, I enjoyed this book immensely
Elizabeth L. reviewed Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life on
Helpful Score: 1
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Queen Noor. It gave me quite a different perspective of Jordan's King Hussein and his family. Honest and sincere, perhaps a bit guarded at times, it was a true love story, albeit with a sad ending! If you enjoy reading biographies, then you will like this one about a modern woman, an American woman of firsts whose poignant love story will touch your heart!
I found this book to be very interesting. Born and raised in America her life greatly changed after she met King Hussine and eventually married him helping to raise his three young children and get along with his older children while having her own children, all while taking on the role of being a Queen. Learned alot about the country Jordan and the difficulties of living in that area.
This was not what I had expected at all. Queen Noor spent most of the book explaining the political history and current events in the middle east. It was very interesting to have her perspective but I expected it to be more personal. While she did talk about her husband and children, and I grew to admire her husband more than I already did, she was notvery revealing about her feelings and personal relationships.
I thought this book was well done and quite interesting politically about the Middle East. Queen Noor's point of view is obviously quite different from Israel's and the US's point of view. Two points are well worth considering. 1.How different the world would be if students could attend Peace Academies instead of Military Academies. 2. Rewriting history -- Palestinians being displaced from their homeland by the Israelis vs. no one was living in the land that Israel took -- the Palestinians only arrived after the Israelis began to settle there in search of the jobs the Israelis were creating in their settlement of the area. But, no matter how you look at it, she has led a fascinating life.
Really enjoyed the book. I really enjoyed her insight of her new life as Queen. The King really had a tough job, and the two of them together were such a strong force. Their very close relationship and dedication to each other got them through their tough times. This book really gives some insight into the struggles of the Middle East.
From Our Editors
The dramatic story of an emancipated young woman who became the fourth wife of a powerful Arab monarch, Leap of Faith is the intriguing autobiography of Jordans American-born Queen Noor. In it, the former Lisa Halaby discusses her late husband, King Hussein I (193599), and his tireless quest for peace in the Middle East; her conversion to Islam and her love for the people of Jordan; her difficult adjustment to royal life and her evolving role as a humanitarian activist; and her political and personal views on Islam and the West. This fascinating memoir provides a unique perspective on three eventful decades of world history and on relations between the United States and the Arab world.
Sharing a personal perspective on the past three decades of world history, Queen Noor talks frankly of the many challenges of her life as wife and partner to the monarch, providing both an intimate portrait of the late King Hussein and a moving account of their public role.
From the Publisher
Born in 1951 to a distinguished Arab-American family, Lisa Najeeb Halaby became the fourth wife of King Hussein at age 27. With her husband being not only Jordan's monarch but the spiritual leader of all Muslims, Lisa was unsure what her role would be. This moving memoir provides a timely look at one woman's story against a backdrop of 30 turbulent years: the displacement of over 1 million Palestinians by the creation of Israel, King Hussein's frustrated efforts for peace, and the effect of Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War on Jordan and the royal family. Queen Noor offers intimate new glimpses of King Hussein, Saddam Hussein, Queen Elizabeth, Arafat, and many other world leaders.
From The Critics
Queen Noor has led a more interesting, committed life than the majority of authors writing their memoirs...it's hard to imagine a better story.
New York Times Book Review
Candid...an affecting wifely portrait of King Hussein.
The book's ending has real power. Hussein's death from lymphoma was a painful ordeal for him, his wife, his family and his small grieving country.
Yet he conducted himself with kindness and concern for others to the end. If Queen Noor's object was to make the Arab world more human and understandable, she has succeeded. Deirdre Donahue
The New York Times
Leap of Faith will not dispel its author's impression that she has often been misunderstood. On one hand, this is a glossy and decorous account of the queen's unusual experiences, with a polite tendency to accentuate the positive. ("I urged everyone I worked with to speak freely and offer honest, constructive criticism.") On the other, it is a fiery account of her husband's frustrations in dealing with international diplomacy in general and the United States and Israel in particular. Janet Maslin