Synopses & Reviews
Readers of Princess Sultana's extraordinary story, Princess
, were gripped by her powerful indictment of women's lives behind the veil within the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Now, Jean Sasson turns the spotlight on Sultana's two teenage daughters, Maha and Amani.
As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani have never known the poverty which their grandparents experienced as children. Surrounded by untold opulence and luxury from the day they were born and which they take for granted, but stifled by the unbearably restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, they have reacted in equally desperate ways.
Their dramatic and shocking stories, together with many more which concern other members of Princess Sultana's huge family, are set against a rich backcloth of Saudi Arabian culture and social mores which are depicted with equal color and authenticity. We learn, for example, of the fascinating ritual of the world-famous annual pirlgrimage to Makkah as we accompany the princess and her family to this holiest of cities.
Throughout, however, Sultana never tires of her quest to expose the injustices which her society levels against women. In her couragewious campaign to improve the lot of her own daughters of Arabia, Princess Sultana once more strikes a chord amongst all women who are lucky enough to have the freedom to speak out for themselves.
"Sasson's sequel to Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil is another page-turner related by "Princess Sultana."' A member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, Sultana now is married to a progressive prince, but this privileged status does not protect her or her two daughters from the country's repressive laws against women. Though a devout Muslim, Sultana believes the entrenched male power structure has perverted religious doctrine to justify veiling women and depriving them of basic civil liberties.
The lack of opportunity to forge equal relationships with men before and after marriage, Sultana argues, is why one of her daughters became fanatically religious and the other suffered a mental breakdown. This eye-opening account is limited to life among the royals rather than a critique of Saudi Arabian society, although Sultana describes the brutal custom of female circumcision practiced by the poor." Publishers Weekly
"It is a mark of great courage that Sultana decided to continue her story." Kirkus Reviews
The haunting sequel to "Princess" recounts Princess Sultana's story of her two daughters, growing up within and rebelling against religious zeal and the male-dominated society of Saudi Arabia.
About the Author
Jean Sasson is a writer and lecturer who has lived in Saudi Arabia and traveled extensively in the Middle East. She is the author of four internationally bestselling books on the Middle East, including The Rape of Kuwait, Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, Princess Sultana's Daughters, and Princess Sultana's Circle. Jean now lives in the deep South, although she still visits the Middle East frequently.