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Posted August 16, 2004
Wonderful Character Study
Beautifully written, moving character sketch of four women whose growth is stunted. One could easily blame the Middle Eastern culture (I assumed the country they were in was Saudi Arabia), yet one of the women, shallow and aimless, is American and in fact wants to stay in [Saudi Arabia] when her American husband is to return to the U.S. because she enjoys the servants,affluent lifestyle and attention of Arab men starved for a sexually liberated female. I enjoyed the book because of the credibility and skill with which the different characters were portrayed and also because the book was a window for me into life in an Arab culture (about which I know very little). One conclusion I drew was that the more human beings try to repress sexuality, the more driving a force it becomes. Certainly in this puritanical country where the sight of a leg, arm, unveiled face is forbidden, sex nevertheless dominates the interaction between men and women. I say 'human beings' because this book has a universality which transcends time and place. It deserves wider appreciation.
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