Monday, March 5, 2012


Jill Eileen Smith
ISBN: 978-0800734299
March 2012/320 pages/$14.99

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.

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of The Wives of King David series. 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. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

I'm always a bit hesitant to read Biblical fiction, so I appreciate the weight of responsibility that Jill Eileen Smith feels to thoroughly research her stories and align them with the details that are provided in Scripture. I enjoyed reading this novel and thinking a bit more about one of the most familiar and loved stories of the Old Testament. Sarai is a compelling look at the life of Abram's wife -- her fears, her faith, and her failures. In a world where a woman's worth depended on her ability to birth a child, specifically a male heir, her years of barrenness were a very public as well as private pain. Jill beautifully portrays the struggle within Sarai as she battles insecurities and struggles to hold onto her faith as the years pass and the child promised to Abram does not become a reality. I particularly found fascinating some of the insight given into her interactions with Lot's wife and, of course, Abram and Hagar, as well as their thoughts and actions. While daily life in the time of the Old Testament differed from ours in so many ways, the human heart has not changed in these many centuries. This is a wonderful beginning to the new series Wives of the Patriarchs.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell as part of their Blogger Review 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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