I took a break from ancient history and just went back in time a few decades~
Summary (from Goodreads): 1967. Gin Mitchell knows a better life awaits her when she marries hometown hero Mason McPhee. Raised in a two-room shack by her Oklahoma grandfather, a strict Methodist minister, Gin never believed that someone like Mason, a handsome college boy, the pride of Shawnee, would look her way. And nothing can prepare her for the world she and Mason step into when he takes a job with the Arabian American Oil company in Saudi Arabia.
In the gated compound of Abqaiq, Gin and Mason are given a home with marble floors, a houseboy to cook their meals, and a gardener to tend the sandy patch out back. Even among the veiled women and strict laws of shariah, Gin’s life has become the stuff of fairy tales. She buys her first swimsuit, she pierces her ears, and Mason gives her a glittering diamond ring. But when a young Bedouin woman is found dead, washed up on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Gin’s world closes in around her, and the one person she trusts is nowhere to be found.
Set against the gorgeously etched landscape of a country on the cusp of enormous change, In the Kingdom of Men abounds with sandstorms and locust swarms, shrimp peddlers, pearl divers, and Bedouin caravans—a luminous portrait of life in the desert. Award-winning author Kim Barnes weaves a mesmerizing, richly imagined tale of Americans out of their depth in Saudi Arabia, a marriage in peril, and one woman’s quest for the truth, no matter what it might cost her.
Review: So here's the thing, I liked this book but I was really not crazy about the ending. Like a lot of other Goodreaders I've been left feeling a little confused about how I feel about it all.
I enjoyed the (audio) book, and really started to get into once Gin and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia. It was interesting to read about these strangers in a strange land who came from nothing and suddenly have almost anything their heart desires, or so it seems. You know the whole way through it all that it's leading up to a spectacular event, because it's revealed right in the first page. But when we finally get there I felt like it all started moving way too fast.
All of sudden, out of nowhere I was at the epilogue, and quite a depressing one at that. I think I'm glad I read this book but I really wish more attention would've been paid to the last few chapters instead of spending so much time setting us up for the major event.
I think I'm also a little upset with the main character. She has all the makings of an incredible life, one that even she never could've imagined, and she just seems to throw it all away. I guess the one good thing about this book is the lesson learned, don't let life pass you by. Take every chance you get at adventure and live it~
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