Some of us are in constant, demoralising comparison of our genuine adversity with others’ projected reality.
Genre: Islamic Fiction
I have not had many chances to read books that are primarily of an Islamic nature. I use Islamic as an adjective – which is to say – patience, perseverance, gratitude, hope in God’s mercy, kindness, prayer, optimism, light, love, joy. A captivating read, the beauty of this novel lies in its simplicity. One of the greatest things about this is that it transcends boundaries and can be read by the masses, of any gender, age, religion, nationality.
The story revolves around a number of different families – giving you an insight into each family’s personal lives’ as well as all the families’ lives together as a whole. Hegazi has successfully brought about cohesiveness in the novel, such that you manage to remember everyone’s story and how everything ties up together.
Many Islamic concepts are reiterated such as: being grateful for every small thing that comes our way and celebrating them as well, spending time with and being kind to our neighbours, having infinite hope in Allah’s (swt) mercy and the importance of making Dua, especially in Sujood (prostration).
On completion of reading the book, I understood the concept of and fell in love with the title of the book – Behind Picket Fences. The novel’s setting is in suburban areas, where people live in villas/houses with a backyard. Whatever others’ see of you is either just a façade or a one dimensional view of a person’s life. No outsider truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. Some of us are in constant, demoralising comparison of our adversity with others’ projected reality. We envy those around us who seem to breeze through life easily, without realising, that they, too, have tough struggles – and might actually be envying you for something that you have, that they don’t! Subhanallah, it’s uncanny how these things work. That’s why, we should pray to Allah (swt) to give us the understanding to realise that each of us have battles that we are fighting daily, and make Dua that He makes it easier on all of us, instead of letting ourselves engulf in jealousy, envy, and the “Why don’t I have this but they do? They’re so lucky!” statements. We don’t know how much one has endured and prayed for the things they have now.
I hope the book causes you to self-reflect, as it did for me. The language is simple and easy to read and understand, and can be a wonderful gift to your friend, spouse, child – anyone.
Disclaimer: The book was given for review, however the opinions expressed herein are personal and unbiased and not indicative of the publishing group or the author of the novel.
“Behind Picket Fences” will be launching soon. Details regarding where to order from and the release date can be found here.