The Dawn of Saudi
by Homa Pourasgari

Linbrook Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-977-97801-4.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 09/15/2009

Fiction: Mystery; Fiction: Multi-Cultural

Saudi Arabia is a country of extremes and of have's and have-not's. The landscape can be breathtaking—or very desolate. Men have many rights while women have virtually none. In The Dawn of Saudi by Homa Pourasgari, two brave young women will fight for their freedom, their love and their lives.

This novel highlights the lives of two very different women who have formed a bond while attending college in Spain—a Saudi woman raised in an oppressive culture and an American woman, with all the freedom that entails, who moves to Saudi with her true love. Their bond of friendship will travel across the continents and save one life as another ends.

Sahar, the Saudi woman, is forced by her wealthy Saudi grandfather to wed a fearsome and much older man in order to firm up some shaky family business relationships. She is found dead on her wedding night. The American, Dawn, moves to Saudi Arabia to marry her love, only to find life was not to be as she had been led to believe. Dawn is now missing in Saudi Arabia, while a woman of the same name surfaces into the life of Jason Crawford of California, who has business ties connected to both Saudi families.

There is a lot of descriptive, often horrifying, background on the lives and customs of the Saudi people, which at times can make the book seem a little disjointed. While the mysteries twist around and bounce from continent to continent, it all begins to come together, and the reader finally understands the reason for the many seemingly unrelated details early on in the reading. The story of the romance and mystery are intriguing, while the background and research on the oppression of women show that Pourasgari has done her homework very well. I would have enjoyed the book more if the writer had better command of her medium, or if the book's editors had given her more help with sentence structure and continuities.

Homa Pourasgari was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to the United States to learn English at the age of 12. She received a degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University, after which she left to live in Paris for a year and attended the University of Sorbonne, focusing on literature. Her previous writings include the novel, Lemon Curd. Pourasgari now makes her home in California. Visit her website, the The Dawn of Saudi website, and the Lemon Curd website.

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