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Extended Audio Sample Girls of Riyadh: A Novel Audiobook, by Rajaa Alsanea Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,569 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rajaa Alsanea Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN: 9781429585859
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When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world. Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nour Nader | 1/3/2014

    " Girls in Riyadh, is a fascinating story that revolves around the lives of young upper-class women. What caught my attention at first was the style of writing. The story was written in a way that said that every chapter is an email sent to various readers (and they claimed in the story that the reader is one of the girls but her identity was a secret). The four girls Gamrah that married a man father of her son that never loved her (they got a divorce. he left her for a foreign women) Michelle (American mother) best friend with lames. Unlike lames Michelle had no luck with love. Sadeem who fell deeply in love with a man that thought of her unworthy and fell even deeper in love with another man that loved her yet married another. After a while he missed her since he as well loved her (he left her as well because he was afraid she would harm his image) and asked her to be his second wife. Her response was one of my favorite parts in the book; although she loved him she did not accept and married a man that truly loved her all his life. The girls struggled with their professional life and their love lives……… "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hillary | 12/25/2013

    " OK book. Nothing I didn't really know about the region it takes place in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tisha | 12/23/2013

    " This book is the story of the trials and tribulations of a group of upper-crust girls in Saudi Arabia. While it was interesting taking a peek into the culture, overall it wasn't that intriguing. It is Saudi chick lit basically. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nadine Millar | 12/8/2013

    " 2.5 parts really annoying, 2.5 parts really intriguing. The 'Times' described it as "Sex in the City, if the city in question were Riyadh", and whether that statement is accurate or not, the book is worth reading just to find out. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 12/1/2013

    " This was just OK. I'm glad I read it, but it was honestly pretty boring. I didn't feel much connection to any of the characters. It was interesting to get a glimpse into their lives. It was sad to me that women still have no freedom in other parts of the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kricket | 3/27/2013

    " sort of like a saudi sex & the city- the tv show, not the book. the reader was great, so it was fun to listen to in the car. but i didn't really get that much out of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kalthoum Marzouk | 5/15/2012

    " Entertaining and gives an idea on how Saudi girls cope with their culture, religion and society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yasmine | 10/4/2011

    " I can definitely see why this was banned in Saudi. Overall, a quick read about four girls and love, arranged marriages, and the occasional run in with the religious police. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ola | 8/13/2010

    " a pretty enjoyable read ... a weird & sudden ending though :) .. & a pretty weak English :) ! but overall i was amused :) ... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Pat | 2/18/2010

    " I wish I had the energy to actually write a review about this book. So bad on so many levels. Honestly, I'm just glad to be done with it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carleen | 8/7/2009

    " It was interesting from a cultural standpoint, but the writing style detracted from the book, in my opinion. The narrator was annoying, and for me, it really broke up the flow of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edi Campbell | 6/12/2009

    " Interesting insights into Saudi culture. I wonder if things are really changing as much as this author would have you thing? In fact, even with her book it made you think the more things changed the more they stayed the say. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Hughes | 12/24/2008

    " Just like Steph said - Sex and the City of Saudi Arabia! It's an engaging story, fun to read, and I wouldn't take it for too much other than just a story about women and love in Riyadh. "

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About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.