Having read the first book I immediately started on the second. And oh boy, this one goes dark and in to real dark territory. More than the first one, in my opinion.
In the early 90s Sultana’s daughters grow in to teenagers with heated views of what they want from life. The eldest Maha wants to escape and becomes hysterical, while the youngest Aminta becomes a feverish and annoying religious fanatic. The book tells how Sultana and her husband Kareem deal with their daughters and family matters that come to the forefront.
I becomes clear from the first that if the first book dealt with human right’s (or lack of them) in Saudi Arabia. Then this deals with the extremists of Islam, the fanatics and how they only serve themselves without actually reading the Quran/Koran. The book takes a lot of time clarifying the passages from Koran which allow certain things and don’t allow others. There are also quotes added from different sources in the beginning of each chapter which is poignant.
The story deals with Sultana’s two daughters. Maha and Amina, both very different on the surface, with their brother trying to keep peace between them along with their mother Sultana. Her son Abdullah gets his own chapter too, but mostly it is about the daughters from Sultana’s eyes. Also her own sister’s lives and sister-in-laws.
Again, really well written and I read it in a day, which was quick. If you like the first one you will like the second one. Quality was the same, except for a few spelling mistakes, but that was because I read it on Kindle.
General Disclaimer now added:
Pick this book up you want to read about human rights abuses (I don’t want to label then women’s rights, because then we become a separate class by doing so, instead of being considered human from the first) and how things are in Saudi Arabia and how they have been for a long time. Just remember this is not a story every Saudi Arabian woman faces or every Muslim woman for that matter. Sultana is from the highest rank in the country and the book tells of those within the lowest as well as do Sasson’s other books.
If this is not your cup of tea, but want to learn about Muslim cultures then I suggest you take a look at the media, music, the poems and books written by them. All are easy to be found. I’ve only now read this book and plan on reading the others as well. But remember things and experiences change from country to country, culture to culture, family to family!! And mind you that the West is not the Benchmark of Progress (to quote Piku here) by any means.
This is just my general warning against generalisation in general
Thank you for reading!