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The Bibliophile: Princess by Jean Sasson

Updated on February 5, 2017


This book is the outcome of a Saudi Princess trying to break away from the gilded cage that she is in, and anonymously tells her story through the bestselling author, Jean Sasson.

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The cover of the book
The cover of the book
The cover of the book


Now I warn you, this is a heart wrenching story; a story which will make you cringe and cry and a story which you will never forget. Here, princess ‘Sultana’ gives certain revelations of the rich Saudi women which can be very disturbing. For women, going against the customs and traditions of the State will ultimately be a death sentence. Sometimes, you think that hanging a person is more humane than subjecting him as an object, an animal, paraded in the town square. Then you allow strangers-men-to throw rocks at him until he dies. That is one of the ways how women are sentenced to death.

Some more incidents include one of the princess’ friends being forcibly held under water until she dies, and of another who is kept in a dark room without food or water. Scientific research proves that while you can last a month without food, you can barely survive for a week without water.

They certainly do have creative ways on how to kill a woman.

Jokes apart, Sultana talks about being dominated by the men in her life; her father, her obnoxious brother and then her husband. She reveals how the rich men of the royal family, including her father and her brother make frequent ‘business’ trips to Thailand and Cairo. She narrates an incident of when she walks in on her brother and his friend raping an eight year old girl in the apartment. And they were laughing. (The girl had been sold by her own mother for fifteen Egyptian pounds)

Check it out for yourself:

When we returned to the apartment, we heard muffled screams. Sara and I followed the noise to Hadi and Ali’s room. The door was unlocked, and we suddenly realized what was happening. Hadi was raping a young girl, no more than eight years old. Blood was everywhere. Our brother and Hadi were laughing.

If that wasn’t bad enough, even the father encouraged this sort of behavior. Plus, young girls were fun, right?

The book describes the lives of the wealthy royal family: the condition of the men and the women with very gruesome and vivid details.


Now you would say, if this is so disturbing, grotesque and gruesome, why the hell should I read it? In answer to that: to know, to know how those women live their lives, to know how fortunate you are and to understand the shocking world of forced marriages, sex slavery, honour killings and other outrages against women, both royal and common.

I really, really want you to read this book. And I suggest you buy this today, or order it online or download it or whatever-just read it.

To peak your curiosity, I would like to give a small excerpt of the introduction:

I was born free, yet today I am in chains. Invisible, they are loosely draped and passed unnoticed until the age of understanding reduced my life to a narrow segment of fear.

4 stars for Princess

Have you read the book?

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    • Priya Barua profile imageAUTHOR

      Priya Barua 

      5 years ago

      I totally agree with you, Kathleen. This was truly an amazing book. Unfortunately i came to know about it much later than you.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I read this book 20 years ago when I was living in Riyadh and many of the stories in the book were confirmed by my Saudi students at a women's language school. It may be a composite of experiences, but it is a true account of life in Saudi for women. And this princess has it as good as it gets there. A must read.


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