Daily Archives: August 10, 2011

Book Review: Desperate in Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati

Title: Desperate in Dubai
Author: Ameera Al Hakawati
Publisher: Random House India
ISBN: 9788184001716
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 560
Price: Rs. 299
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

I have always had a soft corner for women in literature. Be it Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina or Carrie Bradshaw. They have always managed to bring out the relevant and exact emotion at that time, while I am immersed in the text, unravelling their lives, page after page, trying to keep in sync with the authors’ thoughts and the context of the plot.

Women in literature have changed a lot over the course of time. Their roles and the way readers’ perceive them have undergone a vast cultural change. The way they dress to the way they speak to their male counterparts, the lifestyle and most importantly – they think for themselves, which may be did not happen all the time in literature.

With that I would begin my review of “Desperate in Dubai” by Ameera Al Hakawati. On initial sight, the book’s title is quite deceptive. It appears to be one of those yet-again-another-chick-lit type of book, which it isn’t. Desperate in Dubai, well it is about four women, however it isn’t Sex and the City (which some of you might be tempted to think).

It is the story of Leila, who has been in search of a wealthy husband for decades, of Nadia who makes a conscious move to Dubai to support her husband’s career, Sugar who escapes her life in the UK to get rid of the past, realizing that one cannot and Lady Luxe, the rebellious heiress, who is living a double life and wanting to change it all.

This is the basic plot of the book; however there is more to what meets the eye. The obvious elements of a women-centric book are present: Love, Envy, Sadness, Lust, Pride and Rage. The book could not have been written without these basic emotions. The book depicts the life of these four women keeping in mind the cultural patchwork as well. The nitty-gritties and eye for details are clearly visible and the author does not lose sight of it at any given moment.

Ameera Al Hakawati is a pseudonym. I do not know the real name; hence the author will be referred to by her pseudonym. I loved Ameera’s style of writing. The writing is not too heavy and neither it is too flippant. Ameera speaks of issues and yet they are not in your face.

Desperate in Dubai is young, it is vibrant, it is honest and it deserves a read. So please read it.

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