Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rachel by Jill Eileen Smith

  • Series: Wives of the Patriarchs (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800734319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734312

This book is also available as an ebook.

Beautiful Rachel wants nothing more than for her older half sister Leah to wed and move out of their household. Maybe then she would not feel so scrutinized, so managed, so judged. Plain Leah wishes her father Laban would find a good man for her, someone who would love her alone and make her his only bride. Unbeknownst to either of them, Jacob is making his way to their home, trying to escape a past laced with deceit and find the future God has promised him.

But the past comes back to haunt Jacob when he finds himself on the receiving end of treachery and the victim of a cruel bait and switch. The man who wanted only one woman will end up with sisters who have never gotten along and now must spend the rest of their lives sharing a husband. In the power struggles that follow, only one woman will triumph . . . or will she?

Combining meticulous research with her own imaginings, Jill Eileen Smith not only tells one of the most famous love stories of all time but will manage to surprise even those who think they know the story inside and out.

My take on this book:
One of the most fascinating stories in the Bible for me was the trio of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. I mean after all Jacob loved Rachel, and worked seven years to pay the bride price, only to have his father-in-law Laman to trick him into marrying Leah, Rachel's sister. So they both wind of married to Jacob, and it was hardly a smooth relationship between the sisters. Truthfully though my sympathies never really were with Rachel, but with Leah, after all Rachel was loved but Leah well she was sort of foisted off on Jacob, thing is after reading Ms. Smith's fictionalized tale I find myself rethinking what I thought I knew of this triangle.

Biblical fiction has easily become one of my favorite genres to read because it has me thinking more in depth about the characters portrayed in the story, and with this one it was no different. I found myself feeling like things could have happened this way,and no longer felt such sympathy for Leah, but instead found myself feeling empathy for both of the sisters. Ms. Smith really captures the time period allowing me to visualize the setting. Her way of spinning the stories around the characters is second to none. The characters literally jumped off the pages allowing me to hear their voices as their stories were told. Biblical fiction has a way of bringing the Bible to life for me, it's like getting the inside story. While fiction it does allow the reader to understand and comprehend the Bible in a new light, and an added plus for me is that I always feel the need to revisit the story in the Bible and get the "real" version. I loved reading "Rachel" and can't wait to pick up the next story in the Wives of the Patriarchs series.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

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