The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea

I loved this book! Described as Saudi Arabia’s “Sex and the City,” Girls of Riyadh is about a shillah, or clique,  of four young, career-oriented women friends involved in the dating-and-marriage scene in Riyadh. This dating-and-marriage scene is more complex than most of us Westerners would imagine, to the point where this book was banned in Saudi Arabia, possibly because it was too realistic and the powers-that-be there remain in denial.

In the book, an anonymous narrator provides a series of e-mail reports on the four young women: sad Gamrah, bold Lamees, rebellious half-American Michelle (Mashael), and intellectual Sadeem. Which is the Carrie, the Miranda, the Charlotte, the Samantha? These four don’t actually correspond to the SatC girls; there are no direct counterparts. Is the narrator one them, or a relative or friend? I know what I think, and it’s to be found in the last sentence of the first paragraph on page 279. It doesn’t matter, but it is distracting. Just focus on the story as the foursome try to find the right men, the right jobs, and the right lives. It’s lively and eye-opening, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Animal lovers will have no trouble with this book; it is SAFE, because there is a brief mention of a pet dog and some wildlife, and that’s it. Enjoy!

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February 19, 2010 - Posted by | beach book, Book Reviews, travel | , , , , , ,

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