A Woman of Five Seasons
The fictional oil-rich kingdom of Barqais is the setting for this, the author’s first novel to be translated into English. Relationships are at the heart of the story: the relationships between husband and wife, between Europe and the Arab world and between aspiration and reality. A young couple, Ihsan and Nadia, join the ranks of the poor, dispossessed and opportunistic flocking to Barqais in search of a better life. As Nadia struggles to achieve a measure of independence, Ihsan competes with his famous revolutionary brother, Jalal, for the respect of their friends and family. The upheavals in their personal alliances are mirrored by the turmoil of petroleum politics in their adopted homeland. The author provides a fresh and earnest perspective on the lives, loves and conflicts of young Arabs struggling to succeed in a land at once familiar and strange.