Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review - Sarai - Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith wrote a rich tapestry of history and love in her new book Sarai:  Wives of the Patriarchs.

He promised her his heart. She promised him a son. But how long must they wait?
SaraiSarai, 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?

I have always loved the story of Abram and Sarai.  But I find sometimes we accept Bible stories without putting ourselves in their shoes.  I mentioned this in another post recently about how the Bible says what happened in one small paragraph - so we know the details - but it doesn't give us enough chance to 'feel' the details.  Well, now I have.  Jill Eileen Smith's book Sarai was my first taste of historical fiction.  I enjoyed it very much.

I especially liked the way she delved into the surrounding characters. Lot's wife in particular.  Smith had to name her and create a persona around her from very little information but I think she did a great job.  A wonderfully contrasting character to Sarai. My other favourite part was the love between Abram and Sarai.  It was fun to read their interactions - so loving and sweet, yet realistic to a marriage.  

If I had to give a negative comment it would be the story seemed to move a little slow at times.  I found this felt better as the book progressed but that is the one thing I wished was different.

Overall I loved the character development, I enjoyed the writing - her rich, beautifully flowing way of writing was a joy to read, and the way she laid the setting was exquisite.  I highly recommend this book to other readers.  For fun ... and for spiritual growth and understanding.

Please check out Jill's website where you can read about other upcoming books in the series as well as access a bible study, discussion questions and read a portion of this book.  Also you can check out a fellow bloggers' review of the same book here at Interviews & Reviews.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

No comments:

Post a Comment