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This Green and Pleasant Land

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Accountant Bilal Hasham and his journalist wife, Mariam, plod along contentedly in the sleepy, chocolate box village they've lived in for eight years.

Then Bilal is summoned to his dying mother's bedside in Birmingham. Sakeena Hasham is not long for this world but refuses to leave it until she ensures that her son remembers who he is: a Muslim, however much he tries to igno
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 13th 2019 by Bonnier Zaffre
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  801 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is honestly one of the best books I've ever read - the characterisation was wonderful, it's beautifully written, easy to read, meticulously paced... it's the book we need for this next decade, and I can't wait to read absolutely everything Ayisha Malik writes in future. If you haven't read this book yet, you must. ...more
K.J. Charles
An absolute cracker. Bilal is a very-British-indeed Muslim living in an Ambridge-like idyllic village, on the parish council, all that. He believes he's entirely at home, until his mother's dying wish is for him to build a mosque, he suggests it to the village, and the fault lines start to show.

This is a tremendous ensemble book--uncertain Bilal, his frustrated wife, her bereaved best friend, the angry village busybodies, the less-good-than-he-hopes vicar. Absorbing, often very funny indeed as
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored the whole story.
I wanted to read This Green and Pleasant Land, because Ayisha Malik is one of my favourite authors after reading, The Other Half of Happiness. This time I decided to read in the quiet in my bed at night, with my iPad and iPhone switched off downstairs out of sight.

I love reading about different cultures. Well I can honestly say Ayisha should win awards for this story. The cover in my view is peaceful with a mosque in a village and the beautiful green & blue sea in the h
Bookphenomena (Micky)
3.5 stars

This was a poignant, real and sometimes witty story about legacy, identity, community separation and togetherness. THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND centred on community and family. This was an own voices exploration of muslim main characters navigating an often stuffy English village life. It was enjoyable and kept my attention most of the time.

Bilal and his family were navigating a recent bereavement, deathbed promises and guilt built on top of that legacy. Bilal decided that this promise
Rachel Hall
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perceptive, prescient & riotously funny look at grief, faith, Britain today & the place we call home. Superb!

On a superficial level The Green and Pleasant Land is Ayisha Malik’s riotously funny exploration of twenty-first century Britain, what it means to be British and what makes a place our home. But at root it is so much more that a simple feel-good read and what makes it shine is the stories unexpected depth, for it is also a sensitive, thought-provoking and unforgettable look at grief, fait
Lauren James
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, poc-author

A very timely and compassionate look at the current cultural feeling surrounding Muslims in the UK, specifically near Birmingham. I'm from a small village in the West Midlands, so this hit so close to home for me, and was quite difficult to read at times, This is a difficult topic to deal with, and Ayisha handled it with eloquence and dignity, mixing the bad and the good to create an ultimately uplifting narrative.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to aqilahreads by: Wan Ting
Shelves: four-star-reads
this green and pleasant land is the prescient tale of bilal, a middle-class british muslim and his quest to fulfil his mother's dying wish that he builds a mosque in the sleepy english village of babbel's end.

really enjoyed this!! i love the idea of bilal fulfilling his mother's dying wish of building a mosque in where he lives & the things he had to go through in order to do so. as a muslim, its really heartwarming to see a muslim character/representation and ayisha executes it well. i really l
Jenny Cooke (Bookish Shenanigans)
A wonderful book about a mother who, on her deathbed, gives her son the mission to build a mosque in a quintessential English village. Entertaining while also allowing issues of racism, islamophobia and the slipperiness of British identity to be explored. I loved it.
In Babbel’s End, the author creates a picture of a community which exhibits all the features of small village life: gossip, petty rivalries and disputes between neighbours, the latter exemplified by the hilarious “battle of Tom’s bush”.  However, a recent tragedy has exposed the village to very modern day issues and the response to it (or lack of response to it) has heightened tensions.  As one character observes, “Living in their farmland, thinking nothing’s more important than a fete or a stol ...more
I received this eProof for free from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Trigger/Content Warnings: This book features death, grief, discussion of drug use, racism and Islamophobia.

Quotes are to be added to this review, once I can check them against a final copy.

Having loved the Sofia Khan duology, I've been really excited to read Ayisha Malik's next book ever since I first heard of it. This Green and Pleasant Land is in some ways quite the departure fr
David Harris
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this novel Ayisha Malik brings together - with some glee, I think - what are often thought of as contrasting, even clashing, cultures within this, our sceptr'd isle. The villagers of idyllic(?) Babbel's End have accepted, even welcomed, Bilal Hasham and his wife Miriam into their community, just as Bilal, a fairly non observant Muslim, has enjoyed the distance from his home town of Birmingham - and from scrutiny from his aunts and mother. But when Bilal, reexamining his life after his mother' ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I really enjoyed this, it was a very entertaining read, I absolutely loved the idea of Bilal trying to honour his mother’s memory and her dream. It makes for a very funny story, but also is a great read as it brings together a lot of issues in this country at the moment, I think it’s a wonderful read, because what is England or Britain, who gets to decide what is and isn’t allowed, about trying to fit in when it actually means you hide who you are. I just loved how it looks at a cross section of ...more
rina dunn
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Bilal's mother dies, her dying wish is for him to build a mosque and return to his Islamic Faith.
Bilal lives in a rural village called Babbel's End which is picturesque and steeped in history with his family. The villagers are very set in their ways and we follow Bilal as he sets out to fulfill his mother's wish.

My thoughts:
This is a beautiful story one which I thoroughly enjoyed.
It also made me incredibly sad and angry at the overt and subtle racism that Bilal and his family had to endure.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read for Myth Take Reads 'Make Your Myth-Taker' - I am now a royal spy!
Have read and loved Malik's previous two books, I was so looking forward to picking this up when I got it for my birthday a year ago. But... I just didn't. I honestly have no idea why! But, nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this exploration of humanity, faith, community, and identity. At several points I laughed, and at several points I cried! Malik has a wonderful way of writing about people in a humous but completely prof
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Khala Rukhsana and Margaret are the most wholesome people you will ever read about. I cried multiple times while reading this book and I think everyone should read it!
Catherine Walker
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Never found something so easy to read, yet so engaging. It’s gonna be living in my head rent free for the next month
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book with so many levels that really one read through probably hasn't done it justice. It is complex and multi-faceted and you find yourself drawn thoroughly in to this world that Ms Malik has created for us. A world that is strangely familiar but manages to feel like it is one that only ever existed in the imagination, a place of nostalgia and of comfort but a place that only ever appeared in stories. A Little England that our collective consciousness recognises and yearns for but th ...more
After reading the rather silly 'Sofia Khan is Not Obliged', it seemed like I might be setting myself up for more silliness by picking 'This Green and Pleasant Land' by the same author. However, this is an altogether much more 'grown-up' and less superficial story than Sofia Khan.

Bilal's mother lies dying and uses her final breath to ask her son to build a mosque in his village. Bilal's not a particularly religious man and nor is his wife Miriam, but the bigger problem is that their village is no
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher

If there is a book that the world needs right now, it is THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND by Ayisha Malik.

Bilal and his family have integrated easily into the small, quaint village of Babbels End. They are on all of the committees, work in the community and feel a part of it all. But when Bilal's mother dies, he struggles with his grief and his identity because his mother's last request is for him to return to Babbel's End and build a mosque. A lit
Samantha Luke
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely story about Bilal who decides to fulfil his mother's dying wish of building a mosque in the rural village where he lives and what happens when he tries to do so.
I loved the descriptive text of the characters and the surroundings so much that I could easily picture it in my mind as I was reading.
This book has made me want to read more by this author.
Caoimhe White
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
*3.5 stars*

I really enjoyed this novel overall. It's a timely story about the co-existence of people with different beliefs and what community really means. I thought the characters were well fleshed out and I believed that they could all be living people. I'm not really sure why my rating isn't higher; it just didn't SING for me.
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I like Ayisha Malik. She’s a regular and entertaining contributor on the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast, which I always enjoy, so I thought I’d check out her fiction. I couldn’t bring myself to attempt either of her first books, marketed as the Muslim Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones being the off-putting factor, just to be clear), but she’s moved on from chick-lit for This green and pleasant land. Also it has a nice blurb by Jonathan Coe, who I adore.

So with those positives lined up, I was braced
Anna Tan
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, e-books
This Green and Pleasant Land is a beautiful take on the subtle and not-so-subtle racism that the Muslim community faces in Britain.

Bilal, a British-Pakistani, moves to the tiny village of Babbel's End to get away from the Pakistani community in Birmingham. All he wants is to fit in and be like everyone else, and he manages to do just that until the fateful day he decides to fulfil his mother's dying wish: to build a mosque in Babbel's End. With that one request, the people he has called friends
Sarah - Sarah's Vignettes
This review can be found at

I have wanted to read This Green and Pleasant Land ever since it came out in hardback in 2019 because it has an intriguing plot. 

On her death bed, Bilal’s mum asks her son to promise her that he will build a mosque in Babbel’s End, the quintessentially English village where Bilal lives with his wife Mariam and step son Harris. Bilal is an accountant, sits on the parish council and is well respected within the community. When he announces h
Susan Hampson
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Bilal Hasham, or Bill as he is called locally, thought of himself as one of the community where he and his family have lived in Babbel’s End for the last eight years. He has been involved with village projects, being part of the church and even a member of the parish council but now he is doubting what true acceptance really means. Have the people that he has called his friends really felt the same as he has over the years or was it just for show.

Bilal is just one of the nicest guys you could wi
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-read
I absolutely adored this book and could not put it down. It had a great premise and some fantastic characters that are entrenched in British society. The story is so relevant for the times we live in - The Islamaphobia challenges the perception of the reader through the voices of normally likeable characters that are so believable. I can’t recommend it enough.

📝Story: We meet Bilal at a pivotal moment in his life - the passing of his mother, Sakeena. He makes 2 promises to her. 1 - to look after
Joanna Park
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an easy engaging read that I’m sure will help open the discussion about cultural differences, discrimination and the impact both of these can have on our lives.

Firstly i found it very interesting to follow the discussions/ arguements surrounding the building of a mosque and people views in general about religion. I felt the arguements were well rounded and covered the different opinions held by people. It seemed very realistic as I have sadly heard similar arguements in real life. It wa
Rhoda Baxter
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book.
Bilal is a mild mannered accountant who lives in the quintessentially English village of Babbel's End. He's been an active member of the community and seems to be accepted by everyone in the village. Until he decides to honour his mother's dying wish that he build a mosque in the village.

This book is largely about racism - the everyday, insidious kind that people aren't even aware of, until they are pushed a bit. THere's no great violence, but there's petty hate crime
Shereen Malherbe
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really does raise some questions about Britishness and belonging and it also stacks up on the character side. They are brilliantly drawn characters who are all like-able despite their flaws, and as the story progresses, and as their interactions with each other increase, it gives us hope in celebrating diversity and what it means to be human.

I felt it fell a bit flat in the middle, but the pace and tension of the internal character emotions gathered momentum towards the end. It also m
Victoria Ellis
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, 2021
This Green and Pleasant Land is a contemporary fiction novel primarily about Bilal trying to complete his mother’s dying wish; to build a mosque in the quaint English village in which he lives. I say that it’s primarily about Bilal because the book also follows various other members of the community and their reactions to this attempt. The book does a great job of presenting a well-rounded view of the village inhabitants, and which side of the argument they fall on. This is especially prevalent ...more
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Ayisha is a British Muslim, lifelong Londoner, and lover of books. She read English Literature and went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing (though told most of her family it was an MA in English Literature – Creative Writing is not a subject, after all.) She has spent various spells teaching, photocopying, volunteering and being a publicist. Now, when she isn’t searching for a jar of Nutella ...more

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