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The Gatekeeper's Notebook

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Life looked promising for Kalila Rahim when she and her husband decided to move from New York City to the Pocono Mountains. Despite a fabulous home, a lucrative career, and the birth of a healthy baby boy, the couple’s marriage remained fraught with problems: the most notable, Bashir’s complicated love affair. Angry and hurt, Kalila kicks him out, only to become distraught ...more
Paperback, 1, 327 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Djarabi Kitabs Publishing
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Farah Zaman
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Gatekeeper’s Notebook is a thoroughly riveting and enjoyable read. Sahar Abdulaziz will hook you in from page one as you follow the travails of Kalila Rahim and will keep you turning the pages to see what unfolds from one chapter to the next. Ms. Abdulaziz has created a cast of interesting and colorful characters, some of which you’ll root for and others you hope will get their comeuppance. The mix of Muslims and non-Muslims work well and demonstrates that at heart, we’re all subject to the ...more
Rabiah Lumbard
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Abulaziz is a writer who has honed her skills! I was deeply impressed by not only her tautness plotting but the well-rounded and engrossing caste of primary, secondary and tertiary characters. I read this book in two days (which says a lot considering how bored I can easily get of fiction for adults--being someone who mostly reads kidlit!). But nothing about this book is a bore. It is delightful and delightfully naughty and intellectually honest. As I tore through the pages I found myself hating ...more
Reem Fakhry
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I know you've all been in the same position! You're driving down the road and there is a big traffic jam. You wonder what is causing the slowdown. You continue your slow slog until you find it...a horrible car wreck. You slowly crawl around it and think to yourself you don't want to look but you can't stop yourself. You can't help but look and peer into shadows to see more. This is the feeling I got while reading this book!

Sahar Adbelaziz did not disappoint in telling a story that shocked and am
Susan Jordan
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Storms of Life

Sahar Abdulaziz begins her new book, THE GATEKEEPER’S NOTEBOOK, with a vivid description of an angry man attempting to negotiate a car through a driving rainstorm on a winding mountain road. It’s a masterful piece of writing that puts you right there with him, up until the jarring end.
The story that follows seems a continuation of the storm. Each of the main characters, as always with Abdulaziz, are presented to us as complex, and in this case, complicated women, each dealing w
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“It’s complicated.” Where have we heard that before? Relationships just are, and this author dives deep to reveal what makes her array of characters tick.

What human being hasn’t had to deal with love and loss? We’ve all had our trials and the author dives deep to reveal how people cope, or don’t cope, and how the characters develop over time. If you’ve ever been left in a relationship or suddenly switched out of your current circumstances to a new set of challenges, you’re going to enjoy this r
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With intricately fleshed out characters Ms. Abdulaziz has written a novel that dares you to stop reading. In an upscale gated community there are secrets that each of the characters wishes to have remain hidden....some are innocuous, some are life threatening. As the lives of several members of the community collide none are safe from the fallout and each pays a different price for the lies, deeds or their actions. There are characters you initially sympathize with and in the end grow to dislike ...more
Katherine Tweedle
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
"The Gatekeeper's Notebook" is a tense read from the first page. Author Sahar Abdulaziz sets up a series of betrayals and schemes that are certainly entertaining. The book is billed as a psychological thriller, but it seems to lack the misdirection and gentle horror that genre entails. Despite that, the plot remains a thrilling ride, with tension at every turn. The characters seem to live and breathe, some wanting nothing but their own self-promotion, others observing from afar, directing us to ...more
Neymat Raboobee
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, thriller
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Gatekeeper’s Notebook is a psychological thriller about a widowed mother who’s on the brink of financial ruin and is trying desperately to claw her way out and make a new start. Every step Kalila Rahim takes towards freedom seems to pull a new secret up from the dirt that she’s left scrambling to bury again.

The plot of this book felt like it could have been a season on Desperate Housewives – a widowed mother wh
Safa Brown
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Housekeeping: I received an ARC (advanced reader's copy) of this book courtesy of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing for an honest review.
The Gatekeeper’s Notebook by Sahar Abdulaziz is told from multiple viewpoints, including the four women in Kalila’s life: Amara, Walaa, and Nafiza. Even though this story is told from multiple points of view, Kalila’s story drives the plot and action. Telling this story through this point of view is helpful because it allows the reader to see the character’s motivatio
Melanie Surani
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Like I usually like to do, I started reading this book without actually knowing what it was about. Sometimes the blurb gives too much away — I like to be surprised. The category was good (thriller), and the cover was beautiful, and I generally like the author’s other work.

My problem came when the characters fought. They argued, they bickered, they walked out on each other. It got to where I was picking up
Melati Lum
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bringing us into the world of second wives and hidden lives, Sahar Abdulaziz's newest release is like watching a train wreck waiting to happen but being unable to look away. The story centers around a few couples within an American Muslim community and delves into their relationships within their marriages and with each other. As is expected, what the characters show to the outside world masks the disturbing and/or violent reality of their private lives. The characters in this story are complex, ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sahar Abdulaziz is a gifted storyteller. The story immediately swept me up into a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I could not put The Gatekeeper's Notebook, a psychological suspense/thriller, down. Soon enough, the curtain lifted, and I found myself engrossed, gaining insight into another culture that I am entirely unversed. At times, I needed to flip to the glossary to look up various terms to gain further understanding; nevertheless, my unfamiliarity did nothing to sway me from finding the sto ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sahar has a way to skilfully draw you in with her complex characters and plot twists. From taboo topics and characters whose side you don't know whether you should choose, if you're looking for your next book to devour in one sitting, this is it. ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read. After a long time of not having the time to read, this book made me want to read again. It drew me in from the get go and every time I got a free moment I was reading to find out what happens next. I would highly recommend this book. It truly is amazing.
Belinda Gordon
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Nov 28, 2019
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2020 Finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Award

2019 Winner of the Daybreak Press Book Award for Muslim Fiction

2019 Finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Award

2016 Winner of the Community Written Expression Award

“Abdulaziz is a master at crafting a thriller that is paced by truth.”

When suspense writer, Sahar Abdulaziz isn’t busy plotting a stabbing, a garroting, or a murder ––all on paper of course––sh

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