3.74/5 by 47 users



The first volume of a gripping trilogy set in Saudi Arabia, this is a story of love, loyalty, intrigue, suspicion, and intolerance


Major-General Farhan Al-Balawi is a loyal soldier in the Saudi Arabian army who dotes on his beloved daughter, Maryam, his pride in her learning and independent spirit sharpened by the death of his elder son and his estrangement from the younger who has opted to pursue a hedonistic western lifestyle in the U. S. Despite the love she shares with her family, the pride she takes in her Arabian heritage, and her loyalty to Islam, Maryam yearns to travel and to continue her education in a European university. When Farhan announces that Maryam is to marry the son of a man who once saved his life, as the fulfillment of a promise made before she was born, Maryam endeavors to stifle her bitter disappointment and honor her father’s wishes. Then she meets Joe, an American dentist—and a Jew. As Joe and Maryam pursue an increasingly intimate clandestine relationship they dare to dream of freedom and of a life together. But Joe is gradually drawing the attention of the Muttawa, the feared religious police, and when Maryam realizes that she is pregnant, it is then that her trials really begin.

Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:384 pages

    Sharaf Reviews

  • Iset
    Mar 05, 2011

    I wouldn't say that I loved this book, but I definitely liked it and enjoyed it a lot. I entered the giveaway here on GoodReads because the premise and the setting sounded so intriguing, even though "...

  • Dan
    Mar 05, 2011

    I was interested in this novel because I feel like reading the literature of a culture is one way to learn about it. Unfortunately, I did not realize that the the author is only a visitor to the cultu...

  • Granuaille
    Feb 08, 2011

    I enjoyed this book although I have not read this style of book for some time (last century even). I asked for this book under the giveaway scheme as the background setting in Suadi Arabia sounded int...

  • Christina
    Mar 05, 2011

    Sharaf is the tale of a woman's life in Saudi Arabia and the hardships she runs into because of forbidden love. Throughout the beginning of the book, we learn why it is forbidden and many facets of Sa...

  • Calista
    Apr 11, 2011

    I am suffering through this book because I refuse to give up after reading almost half of it already. I just have a few things to say....Who says "hells bells?". WHO? The writing is bare bones and doe...

  • Ruth Angus
    Oct 19, 2012

    I found it a fascinating look into another culture, some of which I am familiar with having spent 6 mos in neighbouring but much more liberal Dubai. Never take your freedom for granted....

  • Josanne
    Jan 26, 2014

    Got much better in the end, although dialogue/interaction remains dubious. Flawed writing and plot in the first half of the book, and way too many errors (there's a difference between then/than, for i...

  • Tara Chevrestt
    Nov 06, 2010

    I am probably over reacting as most people got past it, but when I hit the 2 percent point on my kindle and the girl rubbed her nephew's penis to get him to go back to sleep, that was it for me. I was...

  • Fadillah
    Jun 18, 2014

    Do i love it? Believe me, i tried but it's just somehow too good to be true especially when Dr. Joe and Mariam having a secret relationship. The overused words of 'Habibi' irritated me alot. I did lea...

  • Violeta Petrovska
    Jan 17, 2013

    Ти благодарам Миленче за изборот, и се восхитував на Марјам, во секоја наредна страница, за истрајноста која ј...

About Raj Kumar

Raj  Kumar

Raj Kumar was born in India but grew up in the UK. At school he excelled in the Arts and Sciences but Maths and English were a challenge. He left school at the age of seventeen to work in a variety of factories in the North of England but soon realised that this was not the life for him. Through hard work and determination he succeeded in his exams and went on to university. After graduating he wo