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Shifting Sands: Life in Arabia with a Saudi Princess (True Stories of Life with a Saudi Arabian Princess Book 1) by [McCown, T.L.]
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Shifting Sands: Life in Arabia with a Saudi Princess (True Stories of Life with a Saudi Arabian Princess Book 1) Kindle Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 239 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 742 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Leathers Publishing; 1 edition (9 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VOMDN6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #287,761 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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This book was a major disappointment. I started it actually believing it was a take on KSA different from the usual expatriate approaches. However, it was even worse.
The author claims to be an English language graduate - having studied for seven years (as she feels necessary to point out on numerous occasions) yet the grammar, syntax and spelling is extremely poor. Rarely have I read a text with such a weak command of the English language.
The book rattles on with no clear direction or purpose other than the regular instalments of how something broke her great friendship with the princess - only for us, the reader, to get to the last page and not be told what happened! If this was an attempt to lure the reader to buy a second part that is in the pipeline, then it failed.
I do not recommend this book at all. I spent several years in the Arabian Gulf and found other for more intriguing/informative/interesting narratives on expatriate experiences.
Save your money, it may be cheap but such rubbish should not be paid for at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would, but with some misgivings. There's a fascinating insight into Saudi culture, but the author is a little uncritical and seems unnecessarily star-struck with her princess (yet there are so many of them in Saudi Arabia!) - perhaps because Americans have no royal family of their own.

Despite mentioning her master's degree several times, the author has made some terrible spelling mistakes - her dress has a 'boddess' (bodice); a point is 'mute' (moot); there are 'moltove (molotov) cocktails'; she says 'we empathasized' and 'per say' (per se) - and there are some sentences which just aren't sentences. Not all of the Arabic is correctly transliterated, either.

All that said, it's an interesting story and I was surprised to find that I couldn't put it down. My great frustration was that the book ends very abruptly (and infuriatingly) with the most important question unanswered - what happens between the author and the princess?

BANG - it suddenly ends, and the reader is told that all will be explained in the sequel, entitled (less enticingly) 'Creating Shamsiyah: Empowering the Saudi Feminist Movement'. This isn't available at Amazon.co.uk, and is over $43 for a hard copy (no Kindle version) on Amazon.com. So I guess I'll never find out what happened next!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read quite a few books on Saudis and life in Saudi Arabia, and I've really enjoyed this. It tells of the close friendship and trust that grew between an American and a Saudi princess, as well as describing life for the expat community in Saudi Arabia. Expect the usual descriptions of bling that the Saudi royals surround themselves with, (I badly need to check out the gold souks there), as well as the ever so slightly sycophantic descriptions of Islam that Western authors feel the need to write to prove they aren't islamophobic.

To be fair, the author goes to great pains to portray a period of time and a place in the world where religious misunderstandings and lack of trust could sour friendships but doesn't, but only thanks to great pains being taken by both parties to bridge the cultural divide, but she is fully aware that this is not the typical opinion and stance of your average Saudi.

I was left saddened by the prewarning that her friendship with Madawi falters at a later date, but look forward to reading the second instalment. The descriptions of expat community life were revealing and new to me.

If your interests lie in Saudi culture I would highly recommend this book to you. One drawback; the kindle version is full of typos. But I can live with that!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many others Ive read several books on the kingdom. This one was one of the better ones. Amusing and yet also sad in places. Well written albeit by an American, but a very interesting American lady who obviously enjoyed her life in the desert immensely. I would love to have known what eventually happened between her and the princess but alas it was not forthcoming. i look forward to a sequel of her future. More Please Mrs McCown.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book was a real dissapointment with no proper ending as the author has saved all the details for her next book which I will not be purchasing. Throughout her book she talks about her relationship with the princess turning sour - this to me was the selling point of the book yet she does not point out how this happened!
I read this book on my kindle so I was unsure of how many pages I had left to read! I could not believe it when the book just suddenly finished! I kept going through my kindle to ensure I have not missed out the last pages!

Also, the author clearly hadn't done her reseach as she referred to the PERSIAN Gulf as Arabian Gulf on a few occasions!

[...]

On a personal note I took a dislike to the author as I felt that she had sugar coated a lot of the issue in Saudi Arabia and felt that she had spent 10 years of her life trying to please a princess and perhaps even longing to be one of them! But that's just a personal view.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book but must say that I was dissappointed with the way that it ended. Throughout the book the author said that her relationship with the princess was to later turn sour and I waited to hear what went wrong only to find that at the end she said that that was all in her next book which was somewhat of a dissapointment when I had invested the time in reading the book.
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