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Book Club ~ Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

  • Feb 3, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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We'll be reading Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

by Jean Sasson

(nonfiction - Jean Sasson is technically American but she is writing for a Saudi Princess) 

In a land where Kings still rule, I am a Princess. You must know me only as Sultana, for I cannot reveal my true name for fear that harm will come to me and my family for what I am about to tell you.

Think of a Saudi Arabian princess and what do you see? A woman glittering with jewels, living a life of unbelievable luxury. She has gold, palaces, swimming-pools, servants, designer dresses galore. But in reality she lives in a gilded cage. She has no freedom, no vote, no control over her own life, no value but as a bearer of sons. Hidden behind the veil, she is a prisoner, her jailers her father, her husband, her sons.

'Sultana' is a member of the Saudi royal family, closely related to the King. For the sake of her daughters, she decided that it was time for a woman in her position to speak out about the reality of life for women in her country, whatever their rank. She tells of her own life, from her turbulent childhood to her arranged marriage - a happy one, until her husband decided to take a second wife - and of the lives of her sisters, her friends and her servants. In contrast to the affection and easy camaraderie amongst the women, she relates a history of appalling oppression against them, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations: forced marriages, servants bullied into sex slavery, summary executions.

Princess is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and great courage. By speaking out, 'Sultana' risked bringing the wrath of the Saudi establishment upon her head and upon the heads of her children. For this reason, she told her story anonymously.


Jennifer Nelson is hosting this event. She lives near I-25 & Evans. The address will be sent out the night before the event. 

Bring a drink (alcoholic or non) OR a snack to share. Leave a comment with what you are bringing so we don't wind up with 10 bottles of wine.

Caution: I DO own dogs. They will not be home during our meeting, and I will vacuum the day of the meetup, but I wanted to warn anybody who is allergic to dogs. 

Please do not post spoilers on this page, and please be sure to show up - a last-minute cancellation steals somebody else's opportunity to come. 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I read this book in high school!! Such a great read! Sorry I missed it!

    March 1, 2014

  • Jennifer Z

    Hey Readers, it sounds like there were several people who were very interested in attending this event, but weren't able to make the scheduled time. Would anyone like to try a second Meetup for this same book?

    The thing is that I'd like to get it on the calendar while the book is still fresh in everyone's mind (so would like the event scheduled for sometime in the next 2 weeks or so), and we need a host, since Jennifer Nelson would love to attend, but can't host right now, and I'm busy with the Masquerade Party. Anyone want to host this book club in the next two weeks?

    February 18, 2014

  • Elisa T.

    Very inquisitive interesting group of people (even if there weren't very many).

    February 4, 2014

  • Kate

    I talked to Jennifer earlier. I'm one of those who can't make it, due to a garage door motor/track that decided to go on strike. The manual pull cord isn't solving the issue and I won't be able to figure out what's wrong until daylight. I hope everyone's having a wonderful meeting. Sorry again that I can't make it tonight and I'd love another chance sometime. Such an interesting book! Can't wait to read the other two in the series.

    February 3, 2014

  • Kate

    Jennifer, I'm sorry you're not feeling well! I don't yet know if I can make it next Monday, but it seems likely. Rest and recoup!

    January 26, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Kate; I hope you can make it!

      January 31, 2014

  • Andria L.

    I loved the book and look forward to reading the rest. Unfortunately, I have a scheduling conflict with the new date and time.

    Get well soon, Jennifer!

    January 29, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks, and I'm sorry you can't make the new date. Shae can't make the new date either and had expressed interest in getting together with anybody else who can't make it to discuss the book - I would exchange info with her and maybe you two can get together informally (with or without my company, depending on schedules; I love discussing this book) to discuss. Hope to catch you at a future event!

      January 31, 2014

  • Wendy

    I'm looking forward to the discussion. I read the first book and will definitely complete the trilogy. I will plan to bring hummus and veggies.

    January 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds good, see you Monday!

      January 25, 2014

  • Kate

    I'm looking forward to this! I bought the whole trilogy but have a lot left to read. (Hello, weekend...) I'll be bringing snack chips.

    January 24, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I've read the entire trilogy several times over, and it's all so compelling to me that I chose the first one for this book club. Don't worry if you don't finish the entire trilogy this weekend, we'll mostly discuss the first book unless there are several people who wish to discuss further. I'm looking forward to seeing you Monday night!

      January 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will provide a selection of sodas and I am going to attempt to make an Arabic dessert, but if that fails I will probably bake some chocolate chip cookies.

    January 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I hope to participate in the group and discussion....have several Saudi friends .....hope 2014 is lucky for me!

    December 24, 2013

  • Maggie M.

    I would like to attend. Is there somebody with whom I could get a ride? I live in Littleton, On Ken Caryl Ave and Sims.
    Thank you

    December 13, 2013

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