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Insightful,
Life Changing,
Dramatic

6 reviews

Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
by Jean Sasson

Published: 2010-01-01
Paperback : 304 pages
4 members reading this now
26 clubs reading this now
9 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 6 members
Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth. She has four mansions on three continents, her own private jet, glittering jewels, designer dresses galore. But in reality she lives in a gilded cage. She has no freedom, no control over her own life, no value but as ...
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Introduction

Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth. She has four mansions on three continents, her own private jet, glittering jewels, designer dresses galore. But in reality she lives in a gilded cage. She has no freedom, no control over her own life, no value but as a bearer of sons. Hidden behind her black floor-length veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, her sons, and her country.Sultana is a member of the Saudi royal family, closely related to the king. For the sake of her daughters, she has decided to take the risk of speaking out about the life of women in her country, regardless of their rank. She must hide her identity for fear that the religous leaders in her country would call for her death to punish her honesty. Only a woman in her position could possibly hope to escape from being revealed and punished, despite her cloak and anonymity.Sultana tells of her own life, from her turbulent childhood to her arranged marriage--a happy one until her husband decided to displace her by taking a second wife--and of the lives of her sisters, her friends and her servants. Although they share affection, confidences and an easy camaraderie within the confines of the women's quarters, they also share a history of appaling oppressions, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations; thirteen-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age, young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the women's room, a padded, windowless cell where women are confined with neither light nor conversation until death claims them.By speaking out, Sultana risks bringing the wrath of the Saudi establishment upon her head and te heads of her children. But by telling her story to Jean Sasson, Sultana has allowed us to see beyond the veils of this secret society, to the heart of a nation where sex, money, and power reign supreme.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

1.In the introduction to Princess, Sultana tells the reader that, “It is wrong, however, to blame our Muslim faith for the lowly position of women in our society.” Why do you think both the author and Princess Sultana make repeated assertions about the poor treatment of women not being a result of Islam? ... view entire excerpt...

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by bburget (see profile) 01/27/16

 
by ginabmc (see profile) 10/07/15

 
by DavidTrice (see profile) 02/25/15

 
  "Princess"by PeggySue64 (see profile) 02/25/15

Not well written, but dramatic depiction of the life of a woman in the Mideast--lack of opportunities, freedom, and potential of extreme punishment are way of life.

 
  "Princess"by suegiley (see profile) 12/13/13

 
  "Princess"by AmandaB (see profile) 07/12/11

 
  "Interesting peak into a fascinating, yet mysterious culture"by mrsstarkent (see profile) 12/17/07

 
  "The Ozzie Osbornes of Saudi Arabia"by PEP2312 (see profile) 01/20/07

Fascinating insights into life behind the veil. The cultural chasm is a little hard for westerners to bridge. Sultana reveals shocking truths, but at times her effort to be a postive force or change seems... (read more)

 
  "The fate of women in Saudi Arabia"by blsacke (see profile) 01/10/07

Very interesting and timely documentation of the life of women in the Middle East.

 
  "The "Princess" was an admirable, honest, feisty account of life as a Princess in Saudia Arabia."by Easterlund (see profile) 01/10/07

We enjoyed reading the book and thought the author was very brave to have written it. The first person narrative put the whole horrible experience into perspective. The subject matter was quite intense... (read more)

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