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The Compassionate Neighbor

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Loved it! 😍

Shows how friendship can form when you show interest in someone else's life with little to no benefit to be gained from the friendship.

Synopsis

Jonathan and Larissa have moved into their new home and realize they have Muslim neighbors. They live a luxurious life and are living the life of their dream; they have fancy cars, eat at expensive restaurants, take lavish vacations, and have no worries with money. Suddenly things take a drastic turn in Jonathan's life when he loses his job. Where will this lead him to now? How will this affect his marriage and lifestyle? The Compassionate Neighbor is a story about two neighbors with different lifestyles, and how one neighbor steps in to help the other.

The Compassionate Neighbor by Shannon Barnett is a religious narrative, following a couple who find out that they have Muslim neighbors, and it is also a story about how these neighbors connect. It's short, so it doesn't take that long to read, and is well-written.


What I Liked: I appreciate that The Compassionate Neighbor is short. It gives the reader an opportunity to stop and reflect on the larger point of the story, which is about what it means to be compassionate to people who are different than you. It is well-written and a thoughtful critique of neighborly kindness.


What I Didn't Care For: I was a little thrown off by the block paragraph style. As a reader, I love paragraphs and very clear separation of conversations. The Compassionate Neighbor was a struggle for me because I would very quickly lose my place while reading.


Why You Should Read: The Compassionate Neighbor really is about being compassionate, not as a form of proselytizing, which is how a lot of religious people use it, but as a daily discipline to being kind and caring for everyone because they are all just as much a part of your sphere of influence as those who completely agree with you. The Compassionate Neighbor shows well the friendship that can form when you show interest in someone else's life with no larger context or benefit to be gained from the friendship.


This should be on everyone's reading list, because it gives you the opportunity to learn from someone who is not you or who shares your religious beliefs. I really liked the story and thought that it was engaging, even with the minor problem of not really enjoying the text format for The Compassionate Neighbor. I look forward to reading more from Shannon Barnett and hope that others find her work to be just as engaging.

Reviewed by

I have been a book lover since long before I can remember but have really only been reviewing the books I read in the last three years or so. I have a huge love for young adult novels, pretty much of any genre, and also love to read fantasy. I'm also a huge cat lover.

Synopsis

Jonathan and Larissa have moved into their new home and realize they have Muslim neighbors. They live a luxurious life and are living the life of their dream; they have fancy cars, eat at expensive restaurants, take lavish vacations, and have no worries with money. Suddenly things take a drastic turn in Jonathan's life when he loses his job. Where will this lead him to now? How will this affect his marriage and lifestyle? The Compassionate Neighbor is a story about two neighbors with different lifestyles, and how one neighbor steps in to help the other.

Moving Day

Jonathan arrived at the white and brown four-bedroom house that looked freshly painted with brown brick around it. The silver Mercedes Benz made a beeping sound after he locked the car door and walked towards the house. “It’s perfect,” said Larissa as she stood in the middle of the living room floor. “I knew you would love it”, said Jonathan while his dark brown eyes wandered the room. “Jonathan smiled at his wife who was wearing a yellow and black sundress with decorative black flowers, his eyes quickly glanced at her yellow high heels as they made a tapping sound on the brown hardwood floor as she walked. “Anything for my queen”, Jonathan said as he embraced Larissa with a soft hug, and kiss. Jonathan became silent for two minutes, and his feet began to slowly pace the living room floor. He rubbed his fingers on his forehead, he had no idea that when he married Larissa that he would have to lavish her with luxury things. For a moment he realized that he had made a mistake promising her the best of everything. Larissa walks into the kitchen her right hand slowly rubbing the surface of the black marble countertops, and cabinets that were painted white and black. She slowly walked on the black and white square tile floor that shined as if it had been freshly mopped. Larissa's hands touched the white microwave that was above the stove and walked towards the dishwasher. The kitchen had a center eating area, and a bar were stools could be placed to eat at. She had always wanted a big kitchen, similar to the ones she saw on tv. Glancing towards Jonathan she begins walking quickly out of the kitchen, with her eyes focusing in on him. Larissa startled and lost focus at a sound coming from the living room. “O someone is at the door,” said Larissa,” as her eyes met Jonathan's. “How can I help you”, "Hi my name is Akeem, and this is my wife Ameena we wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood”. Jonathan smiled and reached to shake Akeem’s hand, but when he lean to shake Ameena’s hand she drew her hand back from his. Jonathan's right eyebrowed lifted, and he folded his arms as his face became puzzled. “Don’t be offended” said Akeem, “we are Muslims and we do not shake hands of the opposite sex. Jonathan just stood there not knowing what to say, he glanced at Ameena who wore a silk black scarf on her head that covered her hair and neck. Her long black and white dress had long sleeves, and her black shoes had two straps going across them to stay fastened. "Hi," said Larissa, as she shook Ameena’s hand."We wanted to bring this to you”, Larissa looked at the fruit basket that Ameena handed to her. “Thank you, you didn’t have to do this”. Larissa's hands grasped the fruit basket with her fingers touching the big red bow attached to the plastic around it. She wondered about the clothing that Ameena was wearing, She had never seen anyone dress the way she did before.“Thank you for coming by, it was very generous of you” said, Jonathan. Akeem smiled and waved, and Larissa watched them walked next door to their house. “How about we order in for dinner it’s 4;00 pm and the movers should be here any minute,” said, Jonathan as he pushed closed the door. Ten minutes have past and Larissa shuffled through 3 boxes of her shoes that were placed in the middle of the living room floor. She had a love for fashion, and she loved to shop for designer clothes. Each outfit that Larissa owned had a matching pair of shoes that went with it. She had all the fine jewelry that she could wear and she faithfully went to the nail salon and hair parlor weekly. Larissa knew how to get what she wanted from Jonathan, and she didn’t have to work for anything. “Larissa the movers are here” called Jonathan from the living room. Larissa's yellow high heels made a rhythmic tapping sound as she carefully hurried to answer the door with excitement on her face.“S&S furniture's” said the man at the door, “we have a delivery for you please sign these papers and, I'm going to need a picture ID”. Jonathan reached into his back pocket for his wallet and handed the man his ID. The movers began carrying the furniture into the house while Larissa stood there directing them to where she wanted things. “Will you stop it, you're embarrassing me”, said Jonathan. "What’s your problem? “I'm just showing them where I want everything”. Jonathan stood and watched Larissa, his face began to squinched up, and his eyes were squinting while focusing on his wife. Larissa continually ordered the men around and snapped her fingers at them that made a sound of annoyance in the atmosphere. Every time a piece of furniture was placed on the floor she would order them to move it somewhere else. Jonathan crossed his arms while watching Larissa and her unacceptable behavior. She treated the movers horribly, and eventually, they became frustrated and started to leave. “Sorry it’s only our job to deliver the furniture, we don’t get paid to decorate, and get boss around”, said a tall stocky guy who wore a white ball cap, with curly blonde hair showing underneath it. Jonathan glanced at the logo on the white polo shirt and brown khaki pants that said S&S furniture’s and watched the movers walk towards the door, leaving Jonathan to unload everything by himself. “Larissa why did you do that?”, said Jonathan. “ Do what”? said Larissa as she rolled her eyes at Jonathan. “You treated those movers horrible you were talking to them as if they were below you, or worthless”. “ You can’t go around treating people like that”. "O why do you care how I treat people”? “ Don't you judge me Jonathan”, said Larissa. “You are no better than me”. “ You always walking around with your nose turned up to people, thinking that you are better than everybody else because of your status at that advertisement company”. “you must think that you are nicer than me?”, said Larissa as she waved her left hand angrily in front of Jonathan's face, moving her head to the left than to the right. “Let me tell you something honey your’ not”. Jonathan's face turned red, as he stared at Larissa. “How dare you talk to me like that", said Jonathan with a firm look on his face. “You don’t do anything but lounge around all day complaining and talking on the phone. “Larissa you have a nasty attitude, and it’s time that you change it”, said Jonathan. “Don’t kid yourself, honey, when you met me I had this attitude so don’t think that I'm about to change it for you”, said Larissa loudly. “ I am who I am, and you knew all of this before you married me. “Larissa what is your problem?”, said Jonathan. “Why do you act the way you do”? “Larissa's eyes rolled at Johnathan while her arms were folded together. “My mother always told me to always be myself, and to never change for anybody”, said Larissa. “When I was growing up I thought I always had to feel sorry for people who did not have a good life like I did”. “ Yes I was privileged, and my parents spoiled me with the best and raised me to be proud of myself, and why shouldn’t I be. Larissa quickly turned away from Jonathan and stormed upstairs to the bedroom and slammed the door. Jonathan let out a long sigh and walked upstairs after her. 

 

 


About the author

Shannon Barnett lives in Tampa Florida with her husband and kids. She enjoys reading, taking hiking trails, and camping. Her passion is to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and to help women to succeed and accomplish their goals. view profile

Published on January 08, 2020

20000 words

Genre: Religion & Spirituality

Reviewed by

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