Saturday, August 23, 2008

Princess by Jean P. Sasson

Princess by Jean P. Sasson

Sultana is a princess in Saudi Arabia, a land of Arabs who believe that the male is the dominant sex and that females should not have opinions, be educated, or be able to choose. She doesn't give her real name for fear of retribution, but you wonder how people reading the book could not know that it's her when she has given so many of her life details. Sultana grew up in a household where her father preferred Sultana's brother. She resented the fact that she and her sisters were ignored and resolved to try and change the way her family, and possibly Saudi Arabia, viewed females. Sultana has a fiery spirit which affects all aspects of her life.

Stories are told of women who are raped then stoned to death for being "promiscuous", men who religiously abide by the Koran when they are at home but disregard it when they are abroad (then come back with stories of how western women are whores), and the tale of a woman who fell in love with a Christian and was then locked in a window-less room for the rest of her life.

Some of these stories are almost unbelievable. How humans could treat each other this way and then construe it as being the will of God is unbelievable. I couldn't help but think if the tables were turned for a week how things would change. No one deserves to be treated that way. Unfortunately, I don't think this book is going to do anything to bring about the changes that Sultana so desires.

First Line: "In a land where kings still rule, I am a princess."




Jeane said...

I read this book. I couldn't believe how they treated women- and men could get away with anything! I really admired Sultana's spirit.

marsha201 said...

Hi, I am a big fan of "Princess" and I enjoyed reading your review. The book is fascinating and you described it wonderfully. This is the rare type of book that is equally fascinating as it is educational. The author, Jean Sasson went out of her way to make sure of that in her writings because I learned so much about this far-away land and culture. I would also highly recommend reading all of the books in the Princess trilogy (Princess Sultana's Daughters and Princess Sultana's Circle) as they all compliment one another.