Karen's Reviews > Small Kingdoms

Small Kingdoms by Anastasia Hobbet
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's review
Nov 13, 2009

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read on January 31, 2010

This is a very interesting book (which I won through Goodreads, yay!) about life in Kuwait between the two Gulf Wars. The book tells four intersecting stories from very different perspectives: an American woman whose husband is transferred to Kuwait; an Indian maid working for an upperclass Kuwaiti family; an American doctor working in a local hospital who is dating a local, outspoken Palestinian woman; and an upperclass, traditional Kuwaiti woman.

The perspectives were interesting and the writing was quite good. However, there were a few things that just tested my credulity. What woman would bring her kids halfway across the world to a place that had just finished a war and not have even heard of Ramadan? She seemed to have read absolutely nothing about Kuwait, even a travel guide. Who would do that? Also, the author goes on and on about this American woman and how she is so sheltered and knows nothing of the world and grew up and spent almost all of her life on a farm in Oklahoma, yet she mistakes a rooster's crow for bombs. What??? My final criticism: I found the Palestinian woman to be just plain annoying. I like strong women, but her irratic moods and temper made it almost impossible to understand what the American doctor saw in her.

Despite these drawbacks, this is a very interesting book that taught me a lot about Kuwait. If you're interested in learning more about that part of the world, I definitely recommend it.
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