Excerpt from “Dubai Wives”

Enjoy an excerpt from Expat Zvezdana Rashkovich’s first novel, Dubai Wives. Sometimes, a new location helps us find a new look or a new outlook.
Bethany, Jetsettlers Editor

There was a phrase coined in Dubai that was perfectly fitting for Jane Andrews. The phrase was, ‘Jumeirah Jane’, the precise name needed to go with this native to Dubai expression, homegrown in the exclusive neighborhood of Jumeirah by God knows whom. Here was a city where a simple English girl could recreate herself into a gorgeous, skinny, tanned goddess in a matter of months. Of course with the help of a bundle of her husband’s money and the expert hands of Dubai’s best known surgeons, beauticians, hairdressers and stylists, to name a few. As much as Jane wanted to act as if the moniker disturbed her, she could not. There was something totally delicious and decadent about being a ‘Jumeirah Jane’… how perfect! All the Susans and Elizabeths, Donnas, Margarets and Kates, and thousands of other English names, and here she was a plain Jane.
Back home in Brighton Jane was a clandestine slob. She hid it well, but it was obvious to those closest to her, like her husband David. Jane loved David and their son Jake and their Scottish terrier, Kibbles.

However, Jane was always a tad too busy with her many projects to take her appearance seriously. She would rather be volunteering at the old people’s home or talking to her sister for hours on the phone than getting a haircut or having a manicure. She would rather be walking the dog, reading Agatha Christie, or watching the news. Anything else but shopping for clothes. She did not notice that her teeth were a tad yellow, her hair graying, and her face graced with a couple of jowls. It did not worry her that her body was marked with the passage of time in the form of wobbly bits and pieces. However, after moving to Dubai two years ago, an amazing transformation took place in the Andrews’ household. A deeper, darker need had begun to lurk inside Jane’s chubby body. This craving had suddenly burst loose from its confines by the sight of the undulating sand dunes and by the unpredictably stirring whiff of the Arabian Sea.

“Karen how do you manage to stay so fit and groomed?” She had admired loudly, stunned by her new friend’s spotless, wrinkle free face and gravity defying breasts. Karen only laughed, embarrassed. The two of them were lounging by the pool, and as Jane admired her friends’ shiny hair and taut stomach, she noticed her own-chipped nails and hid them under the towel.

She tried to revive previous closeness with David a couple of times. He traveled extensively and frequently because of his job. Jake settled in comfortably in a prestigious Dubai English school, making new friends and quickly adapting to the Dubai teen scene. Jane went about her usual way for the first four months. She hovered above her life, lonely, and confused. Something was coming to the surface inside her and she was not yet sure what it was.

On her fortieth birthday, as she was sipping a glass of wine in front of the TV set with images of the glamorously decked out women of Dubai society, with the ostentatious fashion shows and charity ball attendees parading in front of her eyes, she had a revelation. She wanted to attend the same shows and smile off the pages of society magazines like these attractive women. She wanted to be dressed in a fabulous designer gown, her neck, ears, and arms adorned with sparkling jewelry, laughing confidently at the camera.

She wanted to be pampered and massaged and rubbed by exotic oils, she wanted her body slim and firm again. What was so wrong with wanting to be well dressed, perfectly coiffed and manicured!

It felt bloody liberating realizing this truth. For years, she had told herself that women who followed the media and society in their search of beauty were traitors of all womankind and set bad examples for the younger generations of girls. She had been proud of her refusal to conform to the mainstream. It felt like a definite victory on a personal level. After arriving in Dubai, she had felt even more defiant, contemptuous of these empty headed, shallow Dubaians, forever in pursuit of the next set of fake silk nails, the next facial, the latest miracle moisturizer. Watching and observing her fellow English girls who morphed into Hollywood ‘glamazons’ as soon as they stepped foot on this hot desert soil.

However, things changed over time for Jane. The more she had observed this tanned, trim, manicured and happily lunching Jumeirah crowd, the more she longed to be a part of it.

Dubai Wives
Author: Ginnie Bedggood and Ilana Benady
Paperback: 280 Pages
ISBN-10: 1456772325
ISBN-13: 978-1456772321
Click Here to buy from Amazon.Com 

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