Written by Sahar Abdulaziz. Reviewed by Papatia Feauxzar. Published by Booktrope Publishers
As One Door Closes author Sahar Abdulaziz is a resident of Pennsylvania, with degrees in psychology, and health and wellness. Abdulaziz also holds a certification in community health, she has answered hotline phones and worked as a domestic violence counsellor/advocate. As a staunch advocate for mutual respect and acceptance, she currently acts as a speaker and writer dedicated to helping those with hidden and painful disorders to cope more successfully.
Abdulaziz’s women’s contemporary fiction novel As One Door Closes begins with the news of the death of the abuser, Robert McCurty, as Zoe (his daughter-in-law) is ordered by his son Gavin to call her other dysfunctional in-laws and inform them of the news. As the news is received by the different daughters and granddaughters who have suffered a great deal of pain at the hands of the sadistic Robert, the women soon realize that as one door of their past closes, a couple more open and haunt them. They aren’t past the abuse, as they thought they would be after severing contact with Robert and the rest of the family as soon as they legally could.
A sad and touching tale, it takes some guts to read it to the end. It’s not graphic, but so heart wrenching. It’s the beautiful writing that kept me turning the pages. Abdulaziz really shows the adversity these surviving women and characters faced and the tragedies some of them cannot escape because of the demons they will never totally keep at bay.
As One Door Closes also gives us a peek into the minds of each character and while we feel outraged by their actions or the lack of mother’s instinct in some of them, we realize why they do the things they do, as we patiently stay with the plot. So in the grand scheme of things, we somewhat sympathize with the different characters and their sometimes selfish actions.
While Abdulaziz shows that guarding rape and/or incest secrets is the primary concern of many families, she also hints that no one comes away unscathed from these social ills even if they report it, because their privacy becomes invaded and blowing the whistle is usually the start of long insensitive court trials.
As I read this book, it reaffirmed to me why a lack of intimacy, sex education, morals, and taqwa (God consciousness) can cause damage to the people around us. People who despise intimacy usually pick haram outlets to relieve themselves. Sex is holy but because too much of anything is not good, it can become a madness and cause a person who has no fear of Allah (SWT) to make sexual fulfillment his illah (god). And to such people, Allah (SWT) has promised eternal deafness and blindness of their souls.
Incest and rape are not only rampant issues within non-Muslim families, they are also an epidemic in many Muslim families where many ‘religious’ men abuse the women under their roofs and I have first-hand experience with the issue. This is the main reason I can’t stress mahram boundaries enough in all my writings. Of course strict segregation between the sexes is another issue, but being considerate, balanced, and making exceptions on a case by case basis is the key.
In conclusion, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and see what happens with our survivors. Every woman needs to read this book because I know many who look the other way when they know exactly what’s going on. We shouldn’t be bystanders. We should report such crimes and educate our sons in what is permissible and what is not. It’s up to us women to encourage reviving early sunnah practices and raise righteous offspring.
As One Door Closes is available on Amazon and at many other retailers.
Papatia Feauxzar is a published author living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She is addicted to love, romance, life, laughs, and always having a good halal time, her goal is to serve Allah first and foremost. Above all, she is annoyingly always in a good mood! Visit her at papatia.wordpress.com