Monday, February 24, 2014
Book Review: Rachel by Jill Eileen Smith
I've read comments and reviews where several people say they don't like to read fiction set in Biblical times. They say it detracts from the Bible itself and puts the characters in scenarios they were probably never in. I suppose that's a valid argument, but call me cynical, I just don't buy it.
My very first historical fiction was a book about Ruth. I'm not even sure who wrote it, but I remember reading it when I was about 12 or 13 years old. It helped me see the struggle between the Moabites and the Israelites and the problems that Ruth probably would have had in both countries as part of a mixed marriage.
Let's not even get into Hadassah. I could go on for days about Tommy Tenney's book. Suffice it to say, I LOVED it!
But I digress. I love fiction based on Bible stories because it helps me see some of what they faced. It may not be 100% completely accurate, but I truly believe God helps the writers to get it close.
This story is actually the 3rd in a series called Wives of the Patriarchs. It follows Sarai and Rebekah, the stories of the wives of Abraham and Isaac, and yep, you guessed it, I've now got more books to be added to my TBR list. Plus, one of the perks of this book is that it gives you a little bonus. Not only do you get Rachel's story, but you get Leah's story as well. SCORE!
I really liked this book because it brought out issues I never thought about such as the relationship between Rachel and Leah before and after the weddings. The problems of having a multi-wife household because don't forget, Jacob's household grew to include the maids of both Rachel and Leah as wives or concubines. I even enjoyed some of the little side stories about the sheep and the goats that brought to mind some of Christ's parables from the New Testament.
If you love getting to see the Bible stories from the inside, you're going to love this book and will probably love the other two Wives of the Patriarchs as well as the Wives of King David series.
I would highly recommend this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”