Gardens Under Which Rivers Flow

Gardens Under Which Rivers Flow by Olivia Diamond


Gardens Under Which Rivers Flow

Olivia Diamond

Both parties in this cross-cultural marriage between an American, Sonia Gorski, and a Saudi, Aziz Shubaily, suffer. After the initial intoxication of East meets West, when the couple fall in love at a Midwestern college, marry, and live for five years in the United States, they leave for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with their two children.

Sonia lives as an Arab woman, donning the veil and struggling with the disparities between the Islamic culture she finds increasingly stifling and the husband whose personality grows inscrutable. Her association with three other cross-cultural couples brightens the tedium of her existence.

In contrast to her marriage with the taciturn Aziz, the three other American women have made successful marriages with Saudi men, quite different from her own. Ultimately, she cannot endure the growing rift with her husband and plots her escape to the United States.

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