Even though most of the other characters were different in this book than in Ferraris’ first, it worked well in the overall scheme of things. The citizens and society of Saudi Arabia (and, in particular, Jeddah) were explored in very interesting ways, much like they had been in the last book. For me, this was one of the best parts: catching a glimpse into the inner workings of Saudi society, a place where most readers have probably never been. And it was also a great exploration into the different facets of Islam within this society – including the fairly conservative Islam that Nayir practices, and which is expressed in fascinating detail and through extremely personal inner dialogue.
I was a bit worried about this book, even while I was looking forward to reading it. It wasn’t really clear how the relationship between men and women (and the “rules” relating to Islam and women, or more accurately, Saudi society and women) would be portrayed. It could have gone either way, yanno?