Finding Nouf

Finding Nouf

Book - 2008
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Zoë Ferraris's electrifying debut of taut psychological suspense offers an unprecedented window into Saudi Arabia and the lives of men and women there. When sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, along with a truck and her favorite camel, her prominent family calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a desert guide, to lead a search party. Ten days later, just as Nayir is about to give up in frustration, her body is discovered by anonymous desert travelers. But when the coroner's office determines that Nouf died not of dehydration but from drowning, and her family seems suspiciously uninterested in getting at the truth, Nayir takes it upon himself to find out what really happened to her.

This mission will push gentle, hulking, pious Nayir, a Palestinian orphan raised by his bachelor uncle, to delve into the secret life of a rich, protected teenage girl--in one of the most rigidly gender-segregated of Middle Eastern societies. Initially horrified at the idea of a woman bold enough to bare her face and to work in public, Nayir soon realizes that if he wants to gain access to the hidden world of women, he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab worker at the coroner's office. Their partnership challenges Nayir, bringing him face to face with his desire for female companionship and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. It also ultimately leads them both to surprising revelations. Fast-paced and utterly transporting, Finding Nouf offers an intimate glimpse inside a closed society and a riveting literary mystery.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin,, 2008.
ISBN: 9780618873883
Branch Call Number: M FERR
Characteristics: 305 pages ; 22 cm


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Jun 14, 2016

The mystery was a classic recipe mystery but still entertaining. What carries the most interest for me is the look into the lives of Saudi women. Although not immediately I will want to finish this trilogy to learn more about the culture.

rowanquincy Dec 27, 2014

I enjoyed the details of like in Saudi Arabia, particularly the parts pertaining to women. Had my attention the whole book.

Jun 05, 2014

Years ago I heard a talk by a woman who lived in Saudi Arabia. I was appalled at the limitations on her life, even though she lived in the U.S. compound. This book gave me some insight as to the life of Saudi women today. The two main characters solve the mysterious death of a rich young Saudi woman by circumventing those restrictions, they still have to find ways to pool their information without being caught communicating illegally, so it becomes a game of avoiding the religious police and finding the information they need to find out how and why Nouf died. The end hints at a possible deeper relationship for the two detectives. The writing, plot, and character depth were excellent. I can hardly wait to read the next in this series.

May 23, 2014

had this been the first book i read in the series i probably wouldn't have read the rest of the series.

Apr 18, 2014

I'll admit the story is fantastical as has been said , I still find it a wonderful peek into another culture, which I think was the main idea of the author

Feb 03, 2014

In terms of describing Saudi Arabia's traditions, way of life and attitudes towards women - as beings who are at the lowest level of classification of all living creatures, the book is interesting, but I would not put it in genre of mystery.

Jan 30, 2014

An interesting look into another culture, even if improbable.

Oct 12, 2013

This is the first in a trilogy, which unfortunately I've read in completely the reverse order! Zoe Ferraris (the author), an American woman, had been married to a Saudi man and lived in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, she has a unique view of the life of woman Saudi. Having traveled there nine times, although it seems exaggerated, it is not; the restrictions and mores, and values are almost alien to American eyes! The book is a murder mystery and slowly reveals itself, as a relationship builds that sustains the trilogy. I recommend this series for anyone who wants to better understand life in Saudi Arabia.

JCLEmilyW Oct 02, 2013

This fascinating story investigates the mysterious disappearance of sixteen year old Nouf in the harsh desert surrounding her city. The mystery unfolds through twists and turns that illuminate the gender-segregated, deeply religious background of modern Saudi Arabia. I couldn't put it down!

JCLJanineM Aug 19, 2013

Very interesting & revealing setting -- Saudia Arabia -- with solid whodunnit plot. Provides an intimate look at parts of Saudi / Muslim society while keeping reader involved in solving mystery.

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