Acquired via BookCrossing 11 Dec 2009 – BCBirmingham Secret Santa gift

A nameless Saudi woman starts sending out a weekly email highlighting the doings of a group of female friends from the "velvet" – the highest – level of society.  Although they come from good families with plenty of money, opportunities for travel etc, their lives are full of the same worries as other women of their age – studying, how to find love, friendship – and also of the constraints of their society.  We see them try to pick a path between personal fulfillment and matching their families’ and society’s expectations; I was aware of quite a lot of the issues they face such as the terrible shame of divorce, etc, but I think the attractive chick-lit cover might well bring new readers who would learn quite a lot.  The women are feisty and see their men clearly in the end, and there are no sugary-sweet happy endings or silly coincidences.  A really good read, a celebration of friendship, and some important issues are highlighted.

I’ll be offering this on a bookring soon.