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Review: Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah

“And the word divorce is whispering in his ear, a secret no when else knows.”

Muneer, a 23-year-old journalism student from Saudi Arabia attending university in the United States, is considering divorcing his 19-year-old wife, also from Saudi Arabia, who is pregnant and about to give birth. He has this thought when she is shoveling snow without a jacket, scarf, or gloves.

She seems to like the cold. Before the baby is born, she strips down to her underwear and walks into a lake in winter. Is this a suicide attempt?

It’s hard to grasp that concept –a young woman so unhappy she walks into a lake pregnant, a couple who doesn’t share, has no team goal, with divorce thoughts shortly before their child is born.

The couple divorces. The wife, Saeedah, or Sadie as she is later known, flees with their daughter and spends the next seventeen years hiding from Muneer, his family, and her family.

How is this life of hiding, that Sadie has taken her daughter Hannah on, different from a culture that hides women behind scarves and veils?

In Saudi Arabia, the women who work in Muneer’s newspaper have their own entrance, stand on the perimeter of meetings, and have drivers because it’s against the law for a woman to drive.

What did Sadie save her daughter from?

They live in fear of being found. Their lives are constantly being interrupted by moving, furtive phone calls home to the people she misses, constant name changes, and lies. Sadie has told Hannah, her father is dead. When he turns up when she is in high school she flees her mother.

Beautifully written, the reader is fed bits of Saudi life, routines of the Muslim faith, suppression of women, and a family disrupted by something driving Sadie to escape, except the escape is to a life that no one wants.

Category: Women's Fiction

Source: Library




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