Published by Anchor on May 29, 2012
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
Author Anesa Miller excerpted this review in an interview with Kim Barnes about the marketing of her book. Read it here.
In the Kingdom of Men was both fantastic and disappointing all at the same time. It was fantastic because the story was great, the characters (mostly) real, and the premise wonderful. It was disappointing because the advertised portion of the book was such a minute detail that I felt a little bit shafted.
I have no doubt that Kim Barnes is a talented writer and I was very much caught up in this story about a poor girl who is dragged from the drudgery of her everyday life and into the arms of a star athlete at the local high school. Together, Gin and Mason flee their hometown in Oklahoma in search of bigger and greater things until they arrive in Saudi Arabia, where Mason gains employment with an oil company. Unfortunately, the job requires more time away than at home, and their marriage naturally suffers.
Set in the late 1960’s, Gin battles what many housewives at the time fought against: boredom. Only for Gin, the boredom was worse because she was confined to a compound in a country that required women to take the veil and remain indoors. Rebelling against the rules and finally coming into her own, Gin ignores general decorum and befriends the house boy, leaves the compound, and even wears a bathing suit! Meanwhile, Mason defies the norm by advocating for workers rights and trying to uncover the mystery behind his predecessor’s abrupt departure.
Like I said, this book has a great story and is beautifully written. BUT, the whole reason I picked up the book was because of a murder, and it was such a small piece of the book that it was almost inconsequential. I would feel differently if it had a bigger role in the storyline, but I feel like it was tossed in there so that it could “tie up” some loose ends, but instead it left me wanting (not wanting more – just wanting).
That said, if you go into this book knowing all of this, then you’ll probably love it. Let me know what you think!
How about you? Have you ever read a good book that left you wanting?