Thumbs up for Desperate in Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati. Chick lit.
I would not touch this in a million years if it were set in L.A. But it’s set in Dubai, a place I hope to visit at some point in the next few years. I am simultaneously reading an excellent nonfiction book about the city, but this trashy piece of chick lit is the perfect way to learn about the things you wouldn’t think to ask about. Like: you can tell someone’s social class by how many digits their license plate has. Told from the perspectives of four women of different backgrounds (one of whom, for no discernible reason, has her sections in first-person?), it surprisingly even passes the Bechdel test in between the cheating bastards and handbag jealousy. (Did you know that there’s a handbag that costs US$10,000 to $300,000? I did not. Now I do. I also now kind of want a knock-off. In turquoise.) A delightfully cheesy, but also sometimes enlightening read, perfect for a sick day.
They broke up after Leila had received a hysterical phone call from a woman who swore by her entire clan, ancestors and descendants, that if Leila married her husband and became his second wife, she would poison her in her sleep. She never told any of her friends, including Lady Luxe, what the real reason for their break up was. Even now, she still pretends that she had grown bored of the tall, handsome, wealthy, and charming Emirati. She also resolved never to date a local guy again. She has a sneaking suspicion that Lady Luxe, with her ability to find out everything—from how many fillings a man has to how many women he has slept with—knows the truth but hasn’t told her for fear of hurting her, and for this, she is thankful. She hates being at anyone’s mercy, hates appearing weak or vulnerable.
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