cover image Princess Sultana's Daughters

Princess Sultana's Daughters

Jean Sasson. Doubleday Books, $22 (229pp) ISBN 978-0-385-47444-3

Sasson's sequel to Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil is another page-turner related by ``Princess Sultana.'' A member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, Sultana now is married to a progressive prince, but this privileged status does not protect her or her two daughters from the country's repressive laws against women. Though a devout Muslim, Sultana believes the entrenched male power structure has perverted religious doctrine to justify veiling women and depriving them of basic civil liberties. The lack of opportunity to forge equal relationships with men before and after marriage, Sultana argues, is why one of her daughters became fanatically religious and the other suffered a mental breakdown. This eye-opening account is limited to life among the royals rather than a critique of Saudi Arabian society, although Sultana describes the brutal custom of female circumcision practiced by the poor. (July)