Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review: Pearl in the Sand

Title: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2010
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Historical, Christian Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads Summary: 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.
Rahab’s story is not told in detail in the Bible. We know she helps the Jewish spies in Jericho and her faith saves her entire family. We know she marries into the Tribe of Judah and is in Jesus’ bloodline, but apart from this we really don’t know anything about her. Tessa Afshar takes the few facts we know about Rahab and creates a wonderful fictional story of faith, love, forgiveness and restoration that will stay with me for a long time.
When I started reading Pearl in the Sand, I expected some sort of Biblical fairy tale where the poor abused heroine is rescued by the dashing hero and they live happily ever after. Not so much. Pearl in the Sand takes you from the circumstances that force Rahab into prostitution to when she meets Salmone and they fall in love and marry.
But the book does not happily end there. Like a lot of married couples, Rahab and Salmone have a very rocky start to their marriage stemming from low self esteem, un-forgiveness, self-righteousness and unrealistic expectations. While I was reading, there were times that I was mad at Rahab for emotionally sabotaging her own marriage and annoyed with Salmone for being so angry! While I loved this book as a whole, the really beautiful portion was what happened with the characters after the marriage. Even though we have no idea what really happened with these people so many thousands of years ago, Pearl in Sand is written so well that you are left thinking it could have happened this way, or better yet, I hope it did!
Content: This is not a YA book even though I think it would be okay for older teens. The main character is a former prostitute and both she and her husband have emotion and sexual issues stemming from this.

2 comments:

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This sounds truly interesting. Thanks for the fantastic review. I want to read this.

Emily said...

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: TessaAfshar.com

:) Emily

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