The Belly Dancer
Berkley, Jul 2009, $14.00
Leaving New Orleans with her new husband, Dora Chambers vows to be a good wife. To obtain her spouse’s approving regard, she joins Chicago’s Fair's Board of Lady Managers. However, her efforts do not register with him as he remains distant and colder than the city’s weather in winter.
The Fair's Board of Lady Managers assigns Dora to the seemingly nasty task of monitoring the belly dancing exhibition at the World’s Fair. While the prim and proper female elite laugh at Dora, she finds the assignment fun, likes and admirers the dancers and is attracted to their manager, Hossam Farouk. He is an enigma to her as his voice says he distrusts her, but his eyes say he wants her. Inside the pavilion, Dora feels free unlike outside where she lives in a gilded cage.
The setting of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago provides more than just a wonderful backdrop as people from around the globe show off the best of their respective societies. In that venue, the innocent heroine, while trying to please her husband’s family and friends, becomes Dora the “Explorer”. However what she mostly scrutinizes is herself as she wants to break out of the chains society places on women, but also fears the consequences. THE BELLY DANCER is a terrific historical tale that proudly salutes the nineteenth century suffragette movement leaders and their everyday troops while also affirming society is so much stronger when barriers of specifically group aimed restraints are limited.