Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Synopsis from Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.
Review: Tessa Afshar offers an in-depth portrayal of Rahab's life and her eventual marriage to Salmone. Though Rahab is the primary focus of the novel, Afshar also delves into Salmone's emotions and struggles in his relationship with Rahab. The plot is accented with its share of danger as Israel enters battles in its rise to power. It is undeniable that Rahab's story is inspiring and emotional.  Despite her new faith, Rahab goes against her nation of Canaan to support Israel.  After she and her family join Israel and face prejudice because of their nationality, Rahab shows her strength of character and faith.

The first half of the story moved a bit slowly for me, and I struggled to remain interested. Although I sympathized with Rahab's plight and admired the growth of her faith, as a reader I felt like an outside observer.  The plot progressed more quickly following Rahab's and Salmone's marriage. Afshar described the emotional turbulence of their relationship with realism and depth.  As a result, I found the last portion of the book to be the most poignant, particularly the symbolism Afshar created with the pearl in the sand. The title ties in beautifully with Rahab's story and is touching note for the final pages.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Moody Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”

1 comment:

  1. If you enjoyed Tessa's novel, you might want to check out her new Sands of Jericho reader contest.

    The prize is valued at over $200 and includes perfumes from the Bible, and an incredible golden jewelry box.

    You can see the contest here:




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