Saturday, March 10, 2012
I found myself not only reviewing this book - a novel based upon the life and marriage of Sarah and Abraham, and also teaching a lesson about the same Biblical characters during MAD+ (a younger elementary ministry).
To say it was interesting to read the novelized story of Sarah along side the Bible lesson is well, an understatement.
In Sarai, the first novel in the Wives of the Patriarchs series, Jill Eileen Smith has created a tale that brings the Biblical story soaring off the pages.
She helps breathe new life into a familiar tale by humanizing Sarai, Abraham and even Hagar. Though fiction, the details in the story highlight Smith's commitment to being Biblically and historically accurate.
She portrays Sarai as a woman torn by the love of her husband and the desire to be a mother. It also shows how it wasn't always easy for people like Abraham and Sarah to follow God's commands.
If there's one "complaint" I have with the book, is how it ends right at the birth of Issac, the promised child. I wish she had expanded it a wee bit more - but that may come with the second book, Rebekah.
As with her previous series - Micah, Abigail and Bathsheba - Sarai sets the bar high. If the previous books are any indication, the new series will open up new lines of discussion concerning these strong Biblical women. It definitely made me want to read more into Sarah's story through Biblical research.
On the scale of one to five, with five being the best, I give this book a solid four. I look forward to the next installment of this series.
More About Sarai
(From The Publisher)
He promised her his heart. She promised him a son. But how long must they wait?
When Abram finally requests the hand of his beautiful half sister Sarai, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even Sarai's father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if she makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.
But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain, lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?
Combining in-depth research and vivid storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai in this remarkable story of love, jealousy, and undaunted faith.
More About The Series
The Wives of the Patriarchs is a three-book biblical fiction series set in ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and ancient Canaan. Each story is a fictional rendering of the biblical account, focusing on one or more of Israel’s four matriarchs.
Enter a world where love isn’t always what it seems, and sincere longings can lead to devastating choices. Meet Sarai, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, all amidst a backdrop of deceit and control and a struggle to make a united family. Sometimes we must be careful what we wish for, as many of these matriarchs discovered much too well.
More About The Author
She has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.
Smith lives with her family in southeast Michigan.
Find Jill Eileen Smith online
"Like" her on Facebook
Buy it at Amazon
Find it at Barnes & Nobel
Read a Reading Group's Guide to Sarai
My Review of Abigail
My Review of Bathsheba (and Interview with Smith)
Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Books. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.