I’ve read a few books by Jill Eileen Smith now and have become a total fan. Previously, I read books in her The Wives of King David series, but Sarai is from a brand new trilogy entitled The Wives of the Patriarchs.
If you are familiar with the Bible story of Abraham and Sarah, then you know the basic story that is told in Sarai. What I like most about Biblical fiction that is done well, is that you may know the story and people, but you really get to KNOW the story and people in that it’s more than just a few verses in a chapter in a book. Giving words and feelings to Biblical characters while keeping the integrity of the book they were mentioned in first is what makes Jill Eileen Smith one of the best in this genre.
She really showed the heart of Sarai who persevered during some heartbreaking moments in her life. It must have been tough to be a woman back then – especially one who couldn’t have children. How her faith was tested after having to wait to many years for the child God promised. And to find a young concubine to give her husband a child must have been heartbreaking. Still, I love the toughness that Ms. Smith gives her. She’s an inspiration. Even the secondary characters bring something extra to the story. All were well-rounded and interesting.
I know I’ve said this before in other reviews, but I adore a book that transports me to another time. This one did. When a writer takes the time to research, and it’s obvious, I appreciate that.
FROM JILL’S WEBSITE:
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?