Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review - The Prophetess, by Jill Eileen Smith

Cover art

My latest book takes us back to the old testament and the story of Deborah, the prophetess and judge in ancient Israel.  I really loved this book.  It was hard to put down.  Deborah is an intriguing character in the Bible, but little detail about her life is given.  The author, Jill Eileen Smith, does a wonderful job of fleshing out a woman with an unusual position in the ancient world.  Smith gives Deborah and her husband Lappidoth three children: two sons and one headstrong daughter, Talya.  The family dynamics are believable and interesting, as Deborah struggles over her relationships with both her daughter and her husband.  Her role as prophetess and judge doesn't make her home life easier, which is a very realistic portrait, I think.

This story also heavily involves the Israelites' lead commander, Barak, and the Kenite family of weapons-maker Heber and his wife, Jael.  I enjoyed seeing the different viewpoints in this stressful, tumultuous period.  I also liked how the customs of the time period were worked into the story.  Although I knew, of course, that eventually God delivered the victory as Deborah had foretold, there was still plenty of suspense in the story because the reader didn't know how all of the characters' personal stories would play out.

I highly recommend this book.  Smith takes the reader deep into Biblical history, but the characters she creates are ones that the reader can connect with today.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

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