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  1. The author herself married an Arabic man (she is a white woman) so I don’t think it’s coming from an ignorant place on her behalf, but it did make me a bit uncomfortable. And if I’m uncomfortable as a white woman, I can only imagine how a POC would feel reading it.

  2. She might exoticize her own husband. It happens. I know it happened when The Mummy came out in 1999 and we all fell in love with Ardeth Bay, played by Oded Fehr. OMG. I’m getting sweaty thinking about it.

  3. I did feel like the author’s personal preferences toward men of this culture and color were kind of pushed on me a bit, but I’m less inclined to be offended after reading her own story in the book flap about marrying a Berber chef while rock climbing in Africa. As an American woman who has visited Africa myself, there really is a dramatic shift in temperment, culture, mores, and treatment you’ll get from the people in Africa. For a girl (Olivia or Becky) used to being treated coldly by the men of their own culture, the warmth and gentleness that characterizes interactions with men of this other culture is probably something the author has personally experienced. I was only in Africa for 2 weeks and men expressed themselves there in utterly different ways. It was not uncommon for shopkeepers to beam warmly at you, ask you your whole life story and hold your hand as you perused their wares. That happened to me and the rest of my group many times.

  4. Wow this is fascinating! It’s been awhile since i read this book so I can’t speak specifically to it, but really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Thanks for stopping by!

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