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Princess: A True Story of Life behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

Average Rating 4
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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Eye opening

This is a great and very insightful book, at times disturbing and sad but it is a book that makes you grateful for the freedom we have and touched by the bravery of other women who are not as fortunate.

posted by jaydeeJR on June 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

47 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

From a muslim girl

This book was pretty good but I'm kind of disappointed in the way it portrays all middle eastern women as opressed and being forced to cover. I am a 15 year old arab girl who is a practicing muslim. I wear the traditional head covering and I was not forced to wear it a...
This book was pretty good but I'm kind of disappointed in the way it portrays all middle eastern women as opressed and being forced to cover. I am a 15 year old arab girl who is a practicing muslim. I wear the traditional head covering and I was not forced to wear it as most people might think; i chose to wear it myself. The story of Princess sultana is heartbreaking but i know many Saudi women who have had wonderful childhoods and haven't been forced to marry. There are many independent Saudi women who are doctors, lawyers, and are very educated and not at all opressed by their husbands or fathers or brothers. I think this book stereotypes all Saudi men as arrogant and inhumane. Don't get me wrong, there are some men that treat women as described in Princess Sultana's biography. This book also does not show the true face of Islam which teaches its followers to respect women. Nevertheless, the story of Sultana is heartbreaking and I can't begin to imagine how painful it must have been for her. For anyone who reads this, please remember this is the story of one woman, not all have been put through what this woman has gone through.

posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    Pretty good Book

    This was a wonderful, quick read. It will make you mad as hell, and at times you'll find yourself laughing out loud at Sultana, the Arabian Huckleberry Finn. I am concerned about the legitimacy of the authors claim that this is an autobiography of a Princess as told to the author. There is so much detail that it seems the princess would easily be found out by the Evil Religious leaders. This book reminded me a lot of Memoirs of a Geisha. I believe it was painstakingly researched and that it paints a true picture, but is far from being biographical.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Recommended

    A peek behind the veils is an eye opener. Worth reading for the education.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Princess

    Must + read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2004

    Interesting, but not well written

    This book is very enlightening as to the sometimes horrific lives Saudi women lead, however, it was not well written. Too many times, the author goes off on tangents and skips large chunks of time which makes the book difficult to follow. For that reason, I will not be reading the next book in this series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2003

    Disturbing, for several reasons

    Like most of the reviewers here, I am, of course, saddened and disheartened by the abuse of women and girls portrayed in this book. Saddened and disheartened, but not surprised. <br><br> I, also, though, doubt the veracity of this tale as the 100% true story of one woman in Saudi Arabia. I tend to think that it's more of an amalgam--a story representative of what life is like there for many women. <br><br> I also don't think that any one person can ever tell another's in the first person while maintaining a journalistic, objective honesty. I was a little put off by the way the book is presented and would have preferred a third person narrator for these reasons. I can understand the author's choice, though, because first person narrators are compelling and engaging. I just think that readers should beware & retain a healthy skepticism. <br><br> I was also disturbed by the Sultana's own sexism--the joy she feels at giving birth to a son, for example, or the way she embraces her marriage. I was uncomfortable with that hypocrisy, although I certainly understand it. <br><br> One other point that distubs me is that I think this book invites Western readers to ignore our own problems in the area of gender equality, just by contrast. I would be curious to know the differences, for example, in the sexual assault/abuse rates in the US vs. those in Saudi Arabia. Are they, in truth, substantially different? Women in the US appear to be more free than Saudi women, but I think a book like this, while certainly enlightening about Saudi culture, can also encourage us to forget about problems in our own. <br><br> Overall--a disturbing read! I would recommend it, though.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Truth About the Arabs Men

    I have read this book, two times, and have seen the reality during my two trips to Saudi Arab. What so ever the Princess is telling is hundred percent true. I have met many people in S.A, and everyone has the same view about Saudis that there constitution is just for poor peoples, not for the Arab Sheikh (Big Shot). It is the true picture of Powerful Arab men, and innocent women. I recommend this book to everyone who wish to visit to any Arab Country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    Sultana

    The story told in this book is horrifying and tragic. It's very moving, but people should realize that the injustices suffered by Sultana are not due to her Muslim faith, but to the cruelty of the royal men. I am also a Muslim woman and never have I nor any other woman in my family been abused or mistreated by the men in our family. The Saudi royal men are infamous in many ways. This is another sad addition to their list of idiotic and senseless acts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Interesting read

    I found this book to be interesting and eye opening. I did not know how much women are trully treated in Saudi Arabia. I was a little disappointed that the author had not become a heroine, but maybe that will be in one of the two other books.she has written. I was expecting a different type of story,.especially since the author is a princess. The book packs alot into a rather short book, although some parts seem repetitious. Easy read and I enjoyed it, but will not be reading the rest of the set.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    I am glad I read it, but it is not my favorite

    If Sasson's goal in writing this was to foster change, the book ended rather abruptly and with no Next Course of Action laid out. If the objective was to dish the dirt on the culture, she talked for YEARS about the political and social culture, and skimmed over the greusome, the real reason most of us bought the book... gory curiosity. I am glad I read it. I certainly know more now than I did before I began the book. But I am disappointed with the way the book merely 'stopped' rather than ending with any sort of closure.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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