I recall there was some kind of uproar in Muslim/Arab circles when this book came out, so of course I had to give it a go now that I have a bit of free time. I must say, I don’t get what the fuss was about. Yes, it’s about a group of spoiled rich girls, but no need to be all jealous and condemn the issues they have in life. And for anyone suggesting that “girls like these” are “ruining our societies,” well, allow me to recommend that you take a good, long, hard, honest look at the boys of Riyadh, who are the real stars of this show.
I liked this book, overall. It depicts the lives of four upper class girls, who develop relationships with men both conventionally (through family-arranged weddings) and not-so-conventionally (dating, Saudi style). Some relationships work, others don’t, and the book portrays the emotional/societal fallout of such relationships. In some ways, it will shock you (when a traditionally married girl is divorced because her husband was really in love with someone else, his actions leading to the divorce are nothing short of despicable), but I can honestly say that it’s a very realistic book, and not so far removed from the relationships I see around me. Perhaps that is why it was such a scandal, and thus banned in the author’s home country of Saudi Arabia. Yes, I can see how the truth would sting.