I loved this book! It's very gritty and powerful, and you really get an idea of how hard life was like in the 1960's and 70's for women in the Middle East. I feel down right spoiled in relation to what the main character Firdaus endured.
If I could use one phrase to define this book it would be "outspoken". I really enjoyed reading this book, and learning about the difficulties that some women go through in countries where speaking of women's sexuality is a taboo, not to mention prostitution. It's a great insight on the life of this woman, and how she was led to become a prostitute facing death row in one a strict country like Egypt. I hope you enjoy this book, and other books written by Dr. Nawal El Saadawi
"All the men I did get to know, every single man of them, has filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face. But because I am a woman I have never had the courage to lift my hand. And because I am a prostitute, I hid my fear under layers of make-up". So begins Firdaus' story, leading to her grimy Cairo prison cell, where she welcomes her death sentence as a relief from her pain and suffering. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus suffers a childhood of cruelty and neglect. Her passion for education is ignored by her family, and on leaving school she is forced to marry a much older man. Following her escapes from violent relationships, she finally meets Sharifa who tells her that 'A man does not know a woman's value... the higher you price yourself the more he will realize what you are really worth' and leads her into a life of prostitution. Desperate and alone, she takes drastic action. Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today. This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world.
This was a very quick read but a very inspiring one. Sasdawi's writing is very beautiful as she writes about women who have been oppressed, whose lives have been touched by injustice, and whose dignity has been violated. The story is very emotional but a page turner and an eye opener. If you read this book, it will leave a lasting impression in your mind, in your heart, and in your soul.