Dubai native Gargash weaves an enticing tale of a fiery, independent woman struggling to live the life she has been assigned in the 1950s in the area outside modern Dubai. Noora Al-Salmi is 17. Her mother has died, her father has since gone mad, and her brother, Sager, is trying to provide for her. When Sager hears of a rich pearl merchant looking for a new wife, Noora, unhappy with this plan, escapes to a nearby village where she quickly becomes involved with a man who, unbeknownst to her, is promised to another woman. She returns home to find that Sager has married her off to the merchant. With intimate, well-paced prose, Gargash takes us along with Noora to her new life: competing with her husband's two other wives and enduring the nightly ritual in hopes of a child for the household. But when Noora begins an illicit affair, she becomes mistress of her fate. Does she choose the confines of security or the potential happiness of freedom? An exciting, passion-filled read that illuminates an intriguing culture through the eyes and experience of a feisty heroine.