Author: Jean Sasson
Genre: Non-Fiction (based on a true story)
I've always had this curiosity to learn more about the culture and life in Middle East and also about Islam as a religion. This book which is based on a true story was a perfect way to gain a deep insight into both these aspects.
Princess is a true story which reveals the hidden life of 'Sultana', the Saudi Princess, as told by her to Jean Sasson the author. Sasson travelled to Saudi Arabia in 1978 to work in the King Faisal Hospital & Research Center in Riyadh and then married and lived in Saudi till 1991. It was during this time that she met Sultana and got to know her life story which was then published as a book - the first of the middle eastern women genre and quickly became a new york times bestseller!
Some of the names in the book have been changed to protect the identity of the people who might otherwise suffer from the truth being told... Princess tells the story of Sultana who is born in a unbelievably priviliged royal family in the incredibly oil rich country of Saudi Arabia. I had heard of the wealth and richness of Saudi but it was shocking to get to know the vivid details of the amount of wealth that is ACTUALLY available in that country!!!!!
The writing style is very simple and easy to read. You wont even find time or interest to focus on these things coz the atrocities described in the book just shock the hell out of you! Till I read this, I thought Afghanistan was the worst place to be for a woman but Middle East seems to be a step ahead in this aspect!! I guess I feel scared to step into Saudi even as a tourist now. Each time I read a book like this I feel so lucky to have been born in a place like India, seriously!
This book is actually a trilogy with 'Princess' being the first in the series, followed by 2 sequels which gives us a deeper insight into Sultana's life and her daughters too. I am waiting to pick up the next one...