Tolstoy in Riyadh: A Story of a Teacher and Her Muse
Daniel & Daniel, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
olstoy had a favorite place. Chechnya. Author Chris Cryer's is Arabia. When Cryer signs a year's contract to teach in King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, she likens her adventure to Tolstoy's in that their favorites are both Muslim areas and the cultures vary so much from what they knew prior to arriving in those locations.
ryer arrives in Riyadh to find that the University is not really ready for her; she has no assignment. Not to be outdone, she makes a place for herself. She and her young teenage son manage to escape housing at the college and fit themselves into Riyadh itself to live and work.
heir acceptance of the culture – so very different from what they knew before – is a story of resilience and fortitude. They, in essence, become a part of the town and find their own way in a life so very different than the one to which they were accustomed. Their story is a lesson for all of us.
ifferent cultures can and should at least acknowledge each other and combine energies to bringing peace to the world. Would that that would happen.
olstoy in Riyadh
is a very thought provoking account of a year in the life of a mother and son and how they coped with the differences entailed by being in Arabia during a school year. People can be adaptable as these two prove, time and again. Their story offers a refreshing slant on the Muslim world, and one that gives us all hope.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Travel books on our
or in our book