Painting Kuwait Violet by Pamela Q.Fernandes
This story takes place in Kuwait, in a patriarchal culture where women are second class citizens and their hired help have no rights. Men have all the power and mistreat and manipulate women as if they were mere possessions. This is the world that Violet finds herself stuck in. After her father’s death, she realizes that her family has too many debts that need to be paid off. Though educated with a bachelors degree in finance, she cannot find a job. She must demean herself and work as a maid for the Dashti family in Kuwait.
Life is difficult for her at first but she overcomes obstacles and forms an interesting friendship with her boss Sabah Dashti. Sabah is lucky to have Violet in her life for she helps Sabah with her daughter Aliya and gives her sound advice for her business. This is what I enjoyed most about the book. Watching the relationship grow between Sabah and Violet. What started out as a boss and hired help turned into a friendship of trust and respect.
There was a second storyline with a misogynistic, sadistic man who thrilled in preying on the maids. It added tension and drama to the story. Both storylines were good, I just wish the author would have concentrated on one. Either one would have made an excellent story; having both I felt took a bit away from each.
To be honest, I was hesitant to read this book mainly because of the culture it takes place in. It angers me that men feel they have the right to believe that women are lower than they are. This ended up being a poignant story that had my heart reaching out to not only Violet but the rest of the women in the story. Although the book didn’t end the way I would have liked, I really enjoyed the book.
Review by @annahirsch
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