Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review: Girls of Riyadh

Title Girls of Riyadh
Author Rajaa Alsanea
Genre Commercial Fiction
Rating B-

Summary Imagine Sex & the City in Riyadh--four friends endure the ups and downs of the single scene in the world of arranged marriages with the reality of irrational love.

First Line "Ladies and Gentlemen: You are invited to join me in one of the most explosive scandals and noisiest, wildest all-night parties around."

Review This book was my book club's May reading selection and, had I not been under social compulsion to read this, it's not something I ever would have selected because I don't read very much chick lit (just by a select number of authors I like). If, by some chance, I had picked it up, I'm not sure I would have completed it, but I'm glad I did.

This peek into Saudi culture through an insider's look at how the business of marriage is changing, was incredibly interesting. I also came to like the characters--some took longer than others, but eventually I came around to all of the four friends. The biggest thing I learned through the experience of reading this book is that I should probably do more international reading.

The two things that brought this down for me were: 1) I think the translation probably could have been better, there were times that the English was stilted or awkward (not really the author's fault); and 2) The reason it took me longer to like some characters was because they kept making the same mistakes until the end--the growth was unnecessarily protracted and caused the plot to lag.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I read Girls of Riyadh a while ago. I thought it was an interesting chick lit book. It compelled me to learn a little more about Saudi culture.