Listen free for 30 days

Princess

A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
Narrated by: Catherine Byers
Series: Princess (Sasson), Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Princess describes the life of Princess Sultana Al Sa'ud, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia. Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, and her country.

Sultana tells of appalling oppressions, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations: 13-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age; young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the "women's room". Princess is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and courage, and you will never forget her or her Muslim sisters.

A New York Times best-seller, Princess was named one of the 500 Great Books by Women Since 1300. It was also an Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club and a Reader's Digest Selection.

©2004 The Sasson Corporation (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    137
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Behind the veil

This was a good look at the second class status of Saudi woman.

This lady was a princess and described the legacy of shame on the women of Saudi Arabia, as well as to foreign women who come to work in the country.

At the start she came across as a feisty young woman and I was hoping for good things to come. However nothing will change in this male dominated misogynistic society. I do wonder if there wold ever be a chance of change as the oppression of women is so deep rooted.

Sultana speaks of life from the comfort of her palace, however my thoughts are with the normal Saudi women who do not have her lavish lifestyle to cushion the injustices.

It was a big mistake having an older American female narrator. This was crying out for a soft Middle Eastern voice to put some feeling in the book.

Many moons ago I had the opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia. The salary package was fabulous and I was very tempted. However during the interviews and selection process alarm bells started to ring fir me,,which was enough for me to withdrew my application, and in hindsight it was a very wise decision.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

i dont belueve the story

princess's family knew about her writing. there was a flimsy explanation in book 1 and I got the following books expecting to hear how her family reacted to her writing. I think these books are partly from.various sources and partly fiction. They didnt even go to the trouble of finding someone from that part of the world to narrate. I dont think the American voice over added any authenticity to the books. Not to criticise her, I blame the casting for that. The whole thing is more like historical fiction and just does not ring true. I'm returning these books, disappointed but the writer had a clever idea and capitalised on it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

eye opening

and soul destroying, in a way, her spirit and will leave me with an awe I cant describe, this book is well worth a listen, but prepare your mind.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing

An engrossing book about the day to day lives of women who have all the money in the world but none of the human rights, though the eyes of a woman who witnessed and resisted the cruelty of Saudi society. A fascinating biography.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a moving and informative listen.

I thought I’d try something completely different with my new Audible try out and I definitely picked a winner, firstly the voice of the reader is beautiful and believable, she completely drew me in. The details of the Princess’s life is an amazing mixture of sadness, frustration and incredible bravery ‘for a woman’. It also made me giggle out loud at times. I learnt a lot from listening to this and view many things in a different light. A must have.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

eye opener

in parts I was quite shocked at the honesty and saddened by the carnage men and some women caused to the innocent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amaxing

absolutely brilliant.... read beautifully... an anaxing story of an opressed but brave and strong minded woman

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not bad! Eye opening story of Saudi women

Narrator is difficult to listen to. It takes a while to get accustomed to her voice. Sounds like a computer is speaking.

Starts off slow but by second or third chapter I got hooked. Very interesting and eye-opening story of oppressed women in Saudi Arabia and the crimes men get away with.. literally murder, rape and unthinkable horrors.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

An amazing listen, very harrowing at parts but also made me laugh out loud at others. I enjoyed it so much I have also listened to Sultanas daughters and Sultanas circle. I am about to read Sultanas secrets. All are absolutely riveting. . I have learned alot from these books. I listen while I work as I have no time to read. I intend to listen to all of Jean Sassons books. Definitely 5 stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing insight!

Great book with an insight into Saudi's view on women and their place in society, family and as an individual. I loved the author's perspective and found myself agreeing and paralleling my life as a woman. Just amazing!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for RaCho
  • RaCho
  • 13-03-13

Wow...

Such a powerful book. To hear a full story of this princess' experience just brings you in and really makes you feel for her. I hope something can be done for women in Saudi Arabia... :(

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jay Friedman
  • Jay Friedman
  • 25-07-14

Good story but...

Would you consider the audio edition of Princess to be better than the print version?

Probably not. The narrator was monotone and didn't bring much life to the audio portion of the book.

What did you like best about this story?

It was real and authentic.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Catherine Byers?

Not on purpose!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, not at all. The stories were good but 30 mins at a time was enough.

Any additional comments?

Soltana, the princess in this story was one of thousands of princesses in Saudi. In the end, she didn't accomplish anything or do anything historic or even memorable such that reading about her specifically is exciting. She just happens to be one of 21,000 members of the royal Saudi family and talks about the (undoubtedly scary) every day life of a woman in Saudi.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for greencoates
  • greencoates
  • 13-12-16

Wonderful Book!

What a thought provoking book. I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks after I finished. Definitely reading the next book in the series!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeremiah
  • Jeremiah
  • 22-04-15

Below expectations

Maybe I missed it, but I did not get to hear what became of her. I have some issue of veracity about some of the things said because I have some knowledge of Saudi Arabia and Islamic traditions. Example, the author said that women cannot enter the mosque to pray, that is not correct. Every mosque has a partition in the back for women to pray at the same time as men. At home, women will pray behind the men.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Valencia Conliffe
  • Valencia Conliffe
  • 20-02-20

Princess

This book is very inspiring the women are brave and strong I can't find a series collection to match it well done Sultana!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allyssia
  • Allyssia
  • 25-01-20

“The reality sored above her fantasies”

I have no words to describe how this book made me feel. I was already aware of the horrible conditions women were subjected to in the Middle East, however, I couldn’t imagine certain details and the extend of cruelty. To know that on top of all, the author was one of the few “privileged” women, who had a life that was better than average makes it even worse. I highly recommend this book, since it’s one of those masterpieces that change your perception of the world, life and yourself, although I’m no so sure if this change is all good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-19

finished in 1 breath. both funny and extremely sad

i barely worked today. i couldnt stop listening to this srory! the story is so extremely well told and performed. it is horribly shocking and sad, and at some moments very hilarious. i am wondering what happened to this princess and how she got away with writing such a revealing book?
i would recommend ANYBODY to learn about their lives and base your own opinion.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-19

i didn't like this book

i haven't had a book this bad.
a story of a spoiled princess dramatised to become a book that appeals to western audiences .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-04-19

amazing story

I could not stop listening to this book every chance I got I listened to it. it's incredible to know that the events like the ones in thisstory are still happening today.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Greb
  • Greb
  • 15-02-19

Awful truths that feel sanitized

I read about this book a few days ago as a recommendation and it does not disappoint. The Princess serves as confirmation of the tales of brutality that have been written about, but a little sanitized in my opinion.

It is well-written, narrated, and performed.