STORY: The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she is a woman.
In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father’s subsequent emotional distance and she came to two conclusions: that God does not care about her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth – the measure of her self.
Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn’t failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.
Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums – her very being proves to be a blessing to others.
REVIEW: After I read ‘A Pearl in the Sand’ by Tessa Afshar, I knew that she had a very unique way of bringing Bible stories to the masses, and with this story she has permanently taken space in my heart and my Keeper shelf. She is never ‘preachy’ or overly religious in her telling. I felt, for a lack of a better word, ‘safe’ as she seamlessly weaves historical and fictional characters with Bible’s passages.
Sarah, to me, was a very complex, interesting and unequivocally unique character for her times. She was not your average woman and that in itself was a blessing and a curse.
Darius however, at least to me, was what every wealthy man of his time was expected to be, arrogant and filled with self-importance, but also a man who wanted love and trust from his wife.
I enjoyed all facets of this historical and biblical fiction mostly because it was well researched and the fictional love story within was handled with care and much realism.
Lesson learned in this wonderful tale is: what we envisioned for ourselves probably is not what God had envisioned for us, but ultimately, He’s our Father who knows what’s best for us.
To all that are considering reading this tale, be aware that Sarah and Darius’ story has a sequel in ‘Harvest of Gold’, which I loved too.
*Melanie for b2b.
*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.