by Francine Rivers
Wow, this book was a doozy! At 560 pages this one took AWHILE to read. In all honesty, I wasn't able to post just after book club because I hadn't finished. I was down to the last third of Bathsheba's story and still needed to read Mary's.
This book is a compilation of novellas originally published as Unveiled (Tamar), Unashamed (Rahab), Unshaken (Ruth), Unspoken (Bathsheba) and Unafraid (Mary). I wish I had started this earlier and taken the time to go through each of the Bible studies at the end of each story. I have mixed feelings about these types of stories because you have to be very careful in the future not to take the speculation of the author that fills in the lines of these women's lives and mistake it for the Scriptural account. Yet on the other hand, to see their stories in the context of their time and surroundings does make them less one dimensional and you begin to see how you relate to their story.
My favorite was the story of Tamar. I had never considered how Judah's part in Joseph's being sold into slavery might affect how he would react and relate to his family.
The parts of this that did not ring true for me:
- the supposition that each of these characters were already seeking God before their lives came into the Scriptural account. I could see it for Mary, but not so much for Tamar or Rahab.
- Bathsheba's unquenchable love for David from childhood was a bit too romantic for my taste. It seemed to give her an excuse for her part in the adultery. But the trouble it caused here in the palace after becoming his wife almost made up for it.
We had a pretty lively discussion and I was in the minority for my lack of passion about it. We found ourselves often asking, 'was that true or part of the story?' a lot.
This one didn't have much food to keep our dinner in theme...but we enjoyed more bread and wine!
I think the other ladies would give this one a 4 1/2 or 5 stars. But mine would have to be a ★★☆ tops.