Eight Months on Ghazzah Street has been described as Mantel's "most overtly political novel, filled with a sense of outrage at the Saudi social system and Western willingness, for financial reasons, to turn a blind eye to its human rights abuses" (Rennison 2005, 98).
However, in the case of Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, although Frances is indeed the wife of a male professional expatriate and therefore relegated to stay at home, it is she who is the real protagonist of the novel.
In Eight Months on Ghazzah Street Mantel has shown how her protagonists have suffered from displacement, and how their lives and identities have changed dramatically after their experiences in a different country.
"A Woman in Saudi Arabia Chafes at Gender Restrictions." Review of Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, by Hilary Mantel.