Official Review: Beyond the Golden Door by Ali Master

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Beyond the Golden Door by Ali Master

Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Oct 2019, 12:13

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Beyond the Golden Door" by Ali Master.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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In Beyond the Golden Door: Seeing the American Dream through an Immigrant's Eyes, Ali Master shares his journey as a Pakistani Muslim who immigrates to the United States to attend college and finds love, faith, and freedom. Master stresses the book is not intended to be an academic solution to the complex issues dividing our nation. Instead, he offers his perspective of the American Dream after living in the United States for thirty-two years and an additional nineteen in three other nations. Master describes the purpose of his book: "...to communicate that being an American is not about ethnicity, religion, or the color of your skin. Rather, it's a state of mind. It's our shared values and freedoms that make us uniquely American." Master emphasizes that not all people from Muslim countries hate the United States as he shares his hope that his story will motivate readers to share these same values with new immigrants.

This well-written book traverses themes of "...love, family, faith, failure, and redemption" and is divided into four parts. In the first, Master chronicles growing up in a devout Shia Muslim home. He explains the customs, politics, and culture in Pakistan. He lovingly describes his family and also openly shares traumatic circumstances that shape his life. The second part includes humorous stories involving stereotypes that immigrants have about life in America and the stark reality of culture shock. In the third, Master addresses five American freedoms he values. In the fourth part, he poses contemplative questions for consideration.

I particularly like Master's distinctive style of storytelling. Whether he is explaining the Pakistani process of matchmaking and arranged marriages or passionately sharing his spiritual journey and the freedom he has found in Christ, Master's writing is consistently engaging.

On a humorous note, his entertaining description of his preconceived notions of Americans, including Texans as wealthy oil well owners wearing cowboy boots and hats, who have "promiscuous wives with big hair." As a lifelong Texan, I can vouch that immigrants are not the only ones with this stereotypical view, thanks to the popular television series, Dallas. Master's portrayal of himself as a teenager listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller and learning to moonwalk with his friends is also amusing.

There isn't anything I dislike about this inspirational story. Master's powerful portrayal of America's golden door "welcoming those whom the world rejects" will appeal to a wide range of readers. I recommend it to Muslims and Christians as well as immigrants from other countries. Additionally, the book is professionally edited and contains only borderline profanity. There are references to sexual abuse, but there aren't any explicit details. I'm pleased to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars.

******
Beyond the Golden Door
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Post by MrunalT » 14 Oct 2019, 08:32

I have read a few of book on Asian immigrants to the States, and have enjoyed them all. This one sounds similarly interesting.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 14 Oct 2019, 11:30

MrunalT wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 08:32
I have read a few of book on Asian immigrants to the States, and have enjoyed them all. This one sounds similarly interesting.
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Brendan Donaghy » 14 Oct 2019, 13:39

Sounds like a fascinating book. Topical as well, maybe, given his belief in - and vision of - America as the place "welcoming those whom the world rejects." That's been the view held by so many of us from outside the US for so long, but maybe that's changing now?

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Post by Helene_2008 » 14 Oct 2019, 14:48

I have to agree with the author, being an American is really about your state of mind than skin color, religion, etc. Having no knowledge of Shia Muslim culture, I think it'd be interesting to read about this and learn more. I'd also be interested to read about the American freedoms that the author values.

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Post by acopj » 15 Oct 2019, 06:56

A very inspiring piece, i bet. I would love to have a copy of this. Thanks for a useful review.

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Post by Magnify3 » 15 Oct 2019, 07:51

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review! I immediately thought of JR Ewing and Sue Ellen when I read of 'Texans as oil wealthy owners wearing cowboy hats who have "promiscuous wives with big hair" .' 😀 It sounds like a good read! Thanks for the review!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 Oct 2019, 13:09

Brendan Donaghy wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 13:39
Sounds like a fascinating book. Topical as well, maybe, given his belief in - and vision of - America as the place "welcoming those whom the world rejects." That's been the view held by so many of us from outside the US for so long, but maybe that's changing now?
True. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 Oct 2019, 13:09

Helene_2008 wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 14:48
I have to agree with the author, being an American is really about your state of mind than skin color, religion, etc. Having no knowledge of Shia Muslim culture, I think it'd be interesting to read about this and learn more. I'd also be interested to read about the American freedoms that the author values.
Thanks for your comment, Helene.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 Oct 2019, 13:10

acopj wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 06:56
A very inspiring piece, i bet. I would love to have a copy of this. Thanks for a useful review.
You're welcome. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 Oct 2019, 13:11

Magnify3 wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 07:51
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review! I immediately thought of JR Ewing and Sue Ellen when I read of 'Texans as oil wealthy owners wearing cowboy hats who have "promiscuous wives with big hair" .' 😀 It sounds like a good read! Thanks for the review!
Thanks for commenting.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 15 Oct 2019, 19:53

I didn't even get to think before I saw the word "Dallas" following the stereotype's description. It gave me a nice little chuckle and made the author quite relatable. I think it's important to have books like these because thye show immigrants' stories and how hard they work. Thanks!
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Post by Agnes Masobeng » 15 Oct 2019, 23:57

I am in love with the themes involved in this book; faith, family, love, failure and redemption. It seemed like the author had quiet an experience. Probably his experiences will help other muslim immigrants to look at America differently. Great review.
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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 16 Oct 2019, 04:35

I thoroughly enjoyed your review, Cecilia.
The book also piqued my interest. Sounds like a must-read. I particularly appreciate such a thorny issue being tackled with eloquence, wit, and humor.
Thank you!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 17 Oct 2019, 09:50

Nisha Ward wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 19:53
I didn't even get to think before I saw the word "Dallas" following the stereotype's description. It gave me a nice little chuckle and made the author quite relatable. I think it's important to have books like these because thye show immigrants' stories and how hard they work. Thanks!
Thank you, Nisha!

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