I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I actually only put it down to sleep because the story was so compelling. As I described the story to a friend, he was surprised I would like it so much. That is because there are descriptions of events that are both frightening and brutal. The author doesn't dwell long on the gory details, but gives you just enough so that you have a sense of both the lavishness and trials of lives of Saudi royal women. The result, although a bit too tidy in places, compels you to read on.
I truly feel as if I've been given a fair and accurate look into the Saudi Arabian recent past, as described through a female member of the royalty. This book portrays a timeline from the 70's - 90's and heavily describes day to day life for women, both privledged and not. There is plenty of bad, mixed with good and hope.
Didn't know if I really wanted to read this but after the first few pages, couldn't put it down. My Western mind couldn't get around some of the things that happened. This is, after all, the 21st century. Fascinating! Will be reading the next book in the series for sure.
I was completely engrossed by this book. It is riveting. I could not believe how things really were over there. It is a must read if you are at all interested in the middle east or how women are treated.
Sandra D. (Windloh) reviewed Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia on
Helpful Score: 3
I loved this book! I hate to part with it, but now someone else can enjoy stepping into the veiled and secretive world of this Saudi princess and get a taste of the unbelieveable wealth and the equally unbelieveable constrictions placed upon her and her sisters.
This book was a fascinating look at the life of one girl growing up in Saudi Arabia. She SO wanted things to change for girls and women, who could be stoned or beaten for a small infraction. She hated the way female slaves were abused. It tells of her life as a member or the royal family, not so different from other lowly women of her country. A MUST READ. I couldn't put it down.
Fascinating memoir of a Saudi Arabian princess (her grandfather was the first king of the nation and the line has continued since), focusing on the harsh gender inequality that reaches all levels of society in that country. The book was written in the early 1990's so I'm curious as to what has happened to her since then?
Amy M. reviewed Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia on
Helpful Score: 1
a very interesting, if disturbing account of life behind the veil for women in Saudi Arabia. I have now also read the sequel. This is an autobiography of an actual Saudi princess and her struggle for a share of control in her life. Passed from father to husband like cattle, Saudi women have little role to play in their country's destiny at the moment. If you like this type of book, you must read Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks which is a collection of articles written about women throughout the Muslim world as Geraldine lived and worked abroad as a reporter.
I thought this was a wonderful book. It gives wonderful insight to the life of women in Saudi Arabia. This was one I just could not put down. It brought me an understanding in how people half a world away could have such different views on things and perhaps why the change there is so slow. It also gave me an understanding why the people of that area are so reluctant to change, although many wish for it.
Anyone with the slightest interest in human rights will find this book heart wrenching. It is a well-written personal story that compels the reader to awareness of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and of the true role designated to women by men, even in wealthy families, in that country. The issues addressed by this admirably couragious woman will stay with the reader long after the story is finished.
Interesting, powerful, heart-wrenching, incredible story of the plight of women in Saudi Arabia and the courageous woman who risked everything in order to tell of the horrors. A fast read. Some parts very intense.
Fabulous book. Should be required reading for all females. The member who sent this to me said it changed her life and I can well understand why. I lived for four years in the Middle East and knew it was bad for women, but had no idea it was this bad for women as far as being in charge of their own lives and just how horrible their men can be.
A horrible and fascinating story. I wonder how typical her story is because the things she talks about in her childhood are terrible. It makes me so glad to live in the US and enjoy the freedoms that I have, especially as a woman. I'm sure you have to be open minded about a book like this because there are good people in Saudi Arabia, it's just that she didn't write about many of them.
This is an amazing book that I could not put down! Not for the squeamish! Very graphic look at the sad & brutal life of a Saudi woman. Princess or not, being born a woman in Saudia Arabia is not something I would wish on anyone! If you have any interest in Arab culture this is a must read! Can't wait to read book 2 in the trilogy!
This is a very powerful read. We learn the story of Princess Sultana, a woman of privilege living in Saudi Arabia. This story takes place from approximately the 1970s or so until the early 1990s. Each chapter portrays a different story from Sultana's life or the life of someone she knew (family member, friend, etc). Throughout these various vignettes we learn that life for women in Saudi Arabia is very restrictive and often cruel, even for those born into privilege the way Sultana is (at one point the argument is made that poor women and rich women seem to have it worse than middle class women because often the middle class is content with only one wife because that is all they can afford so they typically are treated a bit better). We see how Sultana manages to survive the various mistreatments she faced during her life, and how other women didn't survive. Sultana wants to do something to help the women of her country, but can't in fear of jeopardizing her own safety and the safety of her daughters. I've read that some people don't feel that this is a true story and that it is something the author made up, but I think that is because those people don't want to believe that oppression and cruelty of this level still exist in our world today. We get snippets of these types of stories in the news every now and then, but unfortunately, it seems like nothing is really done about it. It's as if the attitude of "well it's not here and it's not affecting me" seems to be used to push these stories out of people's minds once the initial shock wears off. But read this book, and I can guarantee that you will not be able to push Sultana's story out of your mind. There are two other books that were written after this one, and I look forward to reading them in hopes that things may have improved for Sultana since they were written much later (this book originally came out in the early 90s, whereas the follow-up books came out in the 2000s).
I read this book as a teenager/ young adult when it first released. To this day I still remember parts of this book very clearly. I loved it. It touched me deeply. I always heard the bad things my teachers would say about people from the middle east but here was a woman's account of her life. She was a real person telling about her life. Sure she lived a pampered life but I realized she was just like me and not at all as my teachers had described Muslims to me. This is a book that I would reread in an instant. Until last week I did not know it was even still on the market. I could not remember its title, only the story told. A friend told me about it. I was like Oh oh I read that as a high school senior or college freshman. This story will hopefully touch you too.
As fascinating and repugnant as some of the details were, I didn't care for this book. Certainly the deplorable state of women in Saudi Arabia needs attention, but the spoiled princess of the title was hardly a credible spokesperson. She seemed to rebel against the system only when it suited her needs; her 'moral outrage' was not much more than a temper tantrum thrown when she didn't get her way. The tale substituted tabloid sensationalism for real emotional and intellectual depth.
I couldn't put this book down. What an eye opener! It made me thankful for the freedom we as American women have. Can't wait to read the other 2 books about this princess and the women of Saudi Arabia. A must read
This book focuses on a few girls, princesses. When you think of a princess, you think of a life of wealth and riches. However, I believe that many of these women would give it all up to have true love and be able to just express themselves freely and openly as a women, as a human being.
A must read book if you are interested in womens rights here and abroad. The Princess trilogy shows the gilded cage these women live in. All the material riches are at their finger tips except for the most important things: education, freedom, choice, respect. I highly recommend this compelling and thought provoking memoir
Wow, this book (the first of a trilogy) takes a look at life in Saudi Arabia and its treatment of women. Some of the content is heartbreaking, but Princess Sultana is a strong woman, not willing to be defined by her culture. Definitely worth the read!
So she is rich! Big deal, I wont trade my freedom for anything! Since we are currently at war with people who want to see all women in their place like the middle-eastern women, I suggest everyone read this book. This woman is stuck in a country that didnt ban slavery until the mid-sixtys! The writer stated: I do not wish to condemn. My desire was to show the Arabs in a favored light of understanding, to point out their kindness, hospitality, and generosity. Frankly, I saw none of that in the book. I read about all the crap they bought and the useless, selfish, degenerate lives the royal class live! This book mad me mad! All Western women should read this book.
This book makes your really glad that you live in a country where women are not chattel, where we have a voice, an identity and the ability to become something other than a man's property. At risk to her own life, Sultana has spoken out and revealed the truth about what being a woman in Saudi Arabia is really like. Even Princesses have no rights. Even they are considered worthless. Heartbreaking!
The book is truly mesmorizing. The life a woman endures in the middle east is so far beyond ou American grasp of understanding that just reading this book takes a near suspension of belief. A must read!
One of many thousands of princesses in Saudi Arabia telling her side of the story about what life is like for Arabian women. She's spoiled and selfish. It may be easy to pity her but if she was so hard put upon why did she leave London when she was free? When her DAUGHTER was free! Difficult to take her seriously. Remember, in every castle lies a dungeon.
I didn't realize things were quite this bad... but I admire the Princess for her tenacity and dreams. Sasson, the ghostwriter, creates a sensitive, yet enthralling narrative... and I'm looking forward to reading the sequels... and wishing there was something else I could do to help besides pray.
The book was interesting regarding the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. The copyright is 1992 so it somewhat out of date. The story of women/human rights or rather lack of them is disturbing. To be born a girl in Saudi Arabia is to be nothing, a non-person. Your quality of life, your very life is in the hands of your father, husband, son, and country. No one deserves to be treated like this.
"Princess" is the shocking autobiography of Princess Sultana, a Saudi royal, written by the internationally acclaimed best-selling author Jean Sasson. The book is absolutely the very best book I have ever read because it is gripping, highly detailed and so incredibly moving. There are so many interesting stories that Sultana shared in the book that I will never forget.
Because I felt like Princess Sultana was actually speaking to me as I read "Princess"; her thoughts and words were so vivid and real. I have never read another book like this that was so inspirational. As an authority of Arab culture and womens rights in the Middle East Jean Sasson also went out of her way to educate the reader on all facets of Saudi life. I highly recommend this book to anyone studying Saudi/Middle East culture or to anyone that enjoys true stories.
This is the book that truly started it all, it was written more than 22 years ago by the Middle East expert and authority on women's rights, Jean Sasson. Since then the author has written 3 other books in the series (included the newest book, "Princess, More Tears to Cry" that was just published), as well as several other best-selling books about the Middle East.
With the exception of Ester's Child (it's a historical fiction novel), all of Jean Sasson's books are true, non-fiction stories.
I would highly recommend reading "Princess", as well as the new book, "Princess, More Tears to Cry". All of the "Princess" books are published in hardcover as well as on Kindle and all of the other e-book formats.
tani reviewed Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia on
Reading this book, you wonder sometimes how women in Saudi Arabia can bear to go on living. The rage would eat me up. However, the princess, while severely limited simply because she is a woman, is a sort of feminist at heart and wins some small victories. There are two or three biographical books out in which she is the narrator, through a Western woman friend, and I enjoyed all of them immensely.