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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Unveiling: An American Teacher in a Saudi Palace...Review

About the book:
My husband and I eagerly accepted positions as private tutors for a visionary princess in Saudi Arabia. She dreamed of providing the best education possible for her children and secretly opened a private school. We championed her dreams as if they were our own. However, a year later, we encountered a medieval system of palace intrigue and subterfuge. Under threat of imprisonment, we were detained and coerced into signing false statements. Would God's deliverance come in time or would we be forgotten and imprisoned in a foreign land? Journey with us to the center of the human heart and to the mysterious Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the shifting sands are full of dreams, intrigue and revenge.

I find books about the Middle East and about Islam, in general, to be fascinating. When a book speaks of both Islam and Christianity, it really intrigues me. Believing that God was leading them, Kristin and Randy Decker went to Saudi Arabia for what seemed to be a wonderful teaching opportunity. They would be private tutors to a young Saudi prince and princess. Their experiences with the young royals was positive and fulfilling. Their experiences with those in leadership positions, however, was much different. As they watched friends being evicted from the country because of false accusations and lies, they never dreamed their Saudi friends would turn on them as well. But, even as they are forced to leave the country, they know that they touched the lives of the young prince and princess and that experience was for their own good as well.

Kristin and Randy's Christian beliefs are strong and very much a part of this book. Kristin recounts conversations between them and other Americans living in Saudi Arabia. The differences between Christianity and Islam are discussed, and as far as I could tell, are discussed realistically, without a complete negativity toward Islam. The cultural differences between the East and West continue to astound me, especially in regards to the treatment and degradation of women. Quite a bit of Middle Eastern history in sprinkled throughout the book and I found it fascinating.

An interesting and enlightening book. One I enjoyed and can easily recommend.

Thanks to Scott Lorenz at Westwind Communications for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Kristin Decker and purchase the book here or here.

Read 7/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. These types of books fascinate me as well. I had not heard of this one before so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. I love a good memoir and one that teaches me something is just wonderful. This sounds terrific!

  3. Hi Holly,

    I love books that talk about two cultures and beliefs concurently. Right now, I'm reading Samir Selmanovic's It's all about God, and I believe you might be interested. I will do a review on it in a week or two ( closer to the release date), so check it out!


  4. It might be interesting reading the difference between her experience and ours- teaching in Saudi to the ex pat community. Living there was a trip in and of itself. They were lucky to just be ousted if they spoke openly about Christianity. We saw much worse. Still, I do not see the extreme part of the religion as the real Saudi Arabia. It is simply the coolition that the Saud family chose to keep the country under their rule.