I'm an American woman who has lived overseas in Morocco for twelve years. My friends and I are reading this book for our monthly bookclub selection. None of us was able to put the book down, once we started it. We all read the book in one or two days.
The author is a journalist who spent considerable time in the Middle East, reporting from various countries. Although this is not a scholarly work, it is well-researched. The book focuses on her own personal experiences in each country, and ancecdotes from various women she met in each country.
For me, the most interesting parts of the book discussed the home and personal life of the Ayatollah Khomeni. After reading this book, my opinion of both him, and of Islamic life in Iran, went up by about 300 percent. The author met and interviewed his wife, and various family members. He was a fairly modern, new-age husband, and playful father, who even got up in the middle of the night and gave his kids their bottles, and changed their diapers. The only thing he was quite strict about was the Islamic religion.
Anyone who is interested in the lives of women in the Middle East should read this book. The book is as accurate today as it was when it was written.