When I began reading this book, I was fairly certain it would challenge my attitudes, and it did, but in a good way. My perception was that a woman living in a Muslim country faced numerous restrictions. Through anecdotes and observation of the women she met and worked with, Brooks offers both positives and negatives to living in their world. The quiet strength and subtle influence of women such as Queen Noor of Jordan sit alongside Faezeh Hashemi who laboured to bring about the Islamic Women’s Games.
There are plenty of impracticalities (as perceived by me as a Western woman) for women living in, and visiting Muslim countries, but Brooks reveals she was attuned to the problems and found ways around them in order to carry out her work as a journalist. Her coverage of people and events in the Middle East also offered a perspective that a male journalist would not have gained.
This is not a book to be skimmed, but one worthy of deeper thinking and discussion; I would recommend it to book clubs as well as to individuals who enjoy thinking about what they have read.