Friday, 28 August 2020

Life In The Camel Lane by Doreen M. Cumberford + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from August 24 to September 4, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure by Doreen M. Cumberford
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18 +),  288 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  White Heather Press
Release date:   April, 2020
Content Rating:  G. There are no offensive scenes or language

Book Description:

Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure
is what Doreen Cumberford, a Scottish author, calls her learnoire! It is a combination of her story and the stories of other expats learned while living in Saudi Arabia for 15 years as expat employees or spouses. The book takes the reader through the four stages of culture shock: arrival, honeymoon, frustration and adjustment stages to final acceptance followed by the return journey back to their home country – mostly the USA. From Saudi weddings, to falconry, to the inability of women to drive at that time, the book seeks to familiarize us with the Saudi culture, lifestyle, and deep traditions of hospitality, generosity and tolerance from an insider’s perspective. There are also chapters on the experiences of 9/11 in the terrorists’ home country and the “Terror Years” of internal terror tactics from inside Saudi Arabia designed to drive the expats out of the country and destroy the Saudi government. Full of examples, stories and compelling honesty the author describes their most challenging journey and many of the lessons learned in the process together. Designed to provide useful insights and inspiration to anyone considering living abroad, Life in the Camel Lane shines the light on the subject of building a new identity and home while abroad, and the difficulties of the journey home.

Buy the Book: / Amazon UK / 

Doreen Cumberford's memoir, Life In The Camel Lane, is a fascinating and very readable account of her fifteen years living in the Middle East and how the culture she encountered in Saudi Arabia informed and affected her choices on her return to the USA. As a dedicated traveller myself, albeit on a less adventurous scale, I was particularly interested in her observations and advice around liminal living, ie the inbetween stage of not quite belonging to one country or another. Already a Scot married to an American, Cumberford had already integrated into a second culture. Her family's life in Saudi Arabia however would involve the contradictions of living in a fairly free American company compound within a strict Muslim country.

I loved the anecdotes of minor subterfuges undertaken in order to keep up various American holiday traditions without offending Saudi sensibilities. I could empathise with this desire to keep traditions from 'home', but also found it strange that the Aramco families - quite the global multicultural mix themselves - were expected to live in a closed Company community with excursions to nearby Saudi towns, rather than immigrating fully for the duration of their contracts. I imagine being so totally reliant on one's employer could feel stifling from time to time. 

Of course I was initially drawn to reading Life In The Camel Lane for its glimpses into Saudi life and Cumberford didn't disappoint. I appreciated her balanced and thoughtful discussions of concepts such as social gender segregation and the wearing of abayas. As I remembered from Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf, freedoms for women are increasing with Cumberford able to patronise a women-only mall, staffed by women, and with the long-awaited right to drive cars being granted not long after she left the Kingdom. Her insights into Life In The Camel Lane show a country quite different from its usual Western portrayal so I am grateful to have had this opportunity to see it through her eyes.

About the Author

Doreen Cumberford is a Scottish expat author who has been global traveler for more than four decades. In her 20s Doreen left her home in Scotland and drove down to London to become a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Her first posting was as the youngest and most junior British Embassy staffer in Cameroon, West Africa. Later she moved back to London and took a position with an American oil-field construction company based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. After moving to America, living in Louisiana then California, two extremely different cultures in the USofA, Doreen and family moved overseas to Japan then spent the following 15 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With 13 major moves under her belt, she understands the value of moving, building a new life and handling inter-cultural hurdles. One constant has been her ability to explore through the lens of adventure. Her stories are full of multi-cultural intelligence, messy multilingual communications and multi-global perspectives.

Doreen is currently based on Denver, Colorado although spends most of the year living adventurously in the Housesitting Lane, which takes her around the globe. Currently she is doing her best to install Spanish in her brain which previously had French and smatterings of Japanese and Arabic. She is passionate about cultural intelligence, global heartedness and life on the road. Featured in the Anthology: Empowering Women, and a co-author in 2018 of Arriving Well: Stories About Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering Home After Living Abroad. 2020 sees the publication of Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure. Honest, compassionate, full of wisdom and inspiration, Life in the Camel Lane comprises stories mostly from women and men who lived in Saudi Arabia from 1950s onward. This memoir contains expert advice sage wisdom and stories that all globally mobile families can use to navigate their international journey. The principles in this book will also encourage anyone who is embracing a more adventurous life, or considering taking the leap to move overseas.

Connect with the Author:  website  ~ twitter  ~ facebook pinterest  ~ instagram  ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Aug 24 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Aug 24 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 25 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 25 - Over Coffee Conversations – book review / giveaway
Aug 26 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Aug 26 - DZA's blog – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 27 – Dreamidge – book review / author interview
Aug 27 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book review
Aug 28 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Aug 31 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Aug 31 - Books for Books – book review
Sep 1 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 1 - Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 1 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 2 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Sep 2 - Alexis Marie Chute Blog – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 3 - So Fine Print – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 4 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 4 - Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review
Sept 4 - Olio by Marilyn - book spotlight / author interview
Sept 4 - Olio by Marilyn - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win 1 of 5 Kindle copies of Life In The Camel Lane or a $50 Amazon gift card (6 winners).
Open internationally until the 11th September.
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Books by Doreen M Cumberford / Biography and memoir / Books from Scotland

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