Top positive review
Life in Mecca from an American Perspective
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2018
Sheila Flaherty is a writer and clinical psychologist.She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, and has had a thriving private practice in the Chicago area for the past 30 years, except for one year spent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now living in Chicago.
While in Saudi, Sheila’s compassion led her to practice counseling secretly with American and Saudi women. This experience inspired her to write East of Mecca, a story about women within the confines of a violent, oppressive, male-dominated society.
Sheila has had success and got recognition for her fiction with awards.
Her life's mission is to enlighten, inspire, and empower others for the greater good. A majority of all profits from sales of East of Mecca will go toward providing funding for women and girls to meet their most profound needs.
I see the author personified in the protagonist Sarah who tells the Saudi story in the first person. The story family moved to Saudi on a 3 year working contract of Max married to Sarah with two children.
The reader encounters the efforts, sacrifices, needs, longings of the expat in the Moslem Kingdom.
There are heart-felt descriptions of the social order, practices, culture and religion examining the legalities and rights of women and girls. Her training and experience in clinical psychology enables her to fill in the clinical picture of loss, longing, suffering as protagonists.
The author has the ability to set an image-rich mood of anxiety, fear and discomfort. She describes the physical scenes of the desert land and sea that conjure up vivid and at times sombre pictures of reality that you can sense the contrasts with all your senses.
The forces to ensure an orderly society and ultimately survival are examined and interwoven into a contemporary novel. In order for a society to function in an orderly fashion, individuals must follow a set of rules to control their social behavior. The objective of these rules is to protect the interest of the whole society and further guarantee its survival. But what is the case in Saudi? What happens behind the closed curtains?
A heart-felt account of life outside one's own roots, in this case, America.
30 June 3018