10 March 2012

Sarai By Jill Eileen Smith, Book review

Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai 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?

My personal thoughts:
With amazing storytelling skills, Jill Eileen Smith introduces a whole new way to look at well known biblical stories! Her exquisite details into the lives of Sarai and Abraham in Book 1 in the 'Wives of the Patriarchs' series will fascinate readers!
The Old Testament is a wonderful source of material for fiction writing and this author deserves much respect for the quality of her novels! Had Ms. Smith been my religion teacher I might not have dozed off as often as I humbly acknowledge!

From page one you find yourself opening a very large window on the past! Every possible human emotions is carefully described, every event researched in meticulous ways to present the reader with a remarkable story.

Personally I never thought of Sarai (or even Abraham) as anything else than mere figures in the Old Testament. We know God spoke to Abraham on more than one occasion and the ensuing drama unfolds in the Scriptures as factual as faith allows us to believe.

But what do we know of the life and the love Abraham and his half sister Sarai shared? Beautiful Sarai was also in her seventies when she gave birth! Do we understand the scope of Sarai's sacrifice?

What of their faith and commitment to God? What do we know of their families and friends? Sarai's story brings us their voices also!

Sarai is a work of fiction but it encompass all the emotions experienced by these men and women of the Old Testament whilst helping readers like you and I to discover a culture few of us can even imagine.

In this novel Jill Eileen Smith's love for biblical stories comes trough in an unforgettable way. Her many characters will bring you a story of deep emotions and surprisingly will remind you of the  joys and disappointments experienced by men and women all over the world! 

And there was my problem...

Despite some curiosity in the lives of all protagonists, I felt more appreciation for Jill Eileen Smith's excellent historical depictions than the story itself.  I would not recommend it to young adults due to thematic contents.
Once over,  I  promptly shelved it!

I give it 3 stars!

 “Available March 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

About the author:
Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the 'Wives of King David' series and her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel.
Visit her website (here) for more on this interesting author!

I received this book free from BAKER/REVELL as part of their blogger review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.

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