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From the beginning of the book there is a sense of threat and oppression as the main character, a professional woman married to a man working in a Middle Eastern country, comes to grips with living in a misogynist, muslim, arab environment. As a woman she has no power, no status, no independence and no credibility in her own right. It is a very disturbing picture of life with the veil through the eyes of a western woman. Mantel maintains the tension to the end and this is a gripping novel, written as well as you would expect. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I am ashamed to say this was my first experience of Hilary Mantel's writing and it was a revelation. I was so impressed by her skilful and witty creation of characters, ex-pats and locals and their interactions and relationships. The choking, claustrophobic atmosphere of Ghazzah Street and its environs was moving, exciting and tense. There was no let up. I loved every single minute of it. I have to mention Sandra Duncan, who did a great job on the narration too. I am familiar with her acting work, so it was no surprise. But Hilary Mantel was, and she has got herself another fan!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful