Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story by Jill Eileen Smith

JRahab Cover Jill Eileen Smith is known for her Biblical fiction featuring the women of the Bible.  Liz Curtis Higgs, one of my most favorite authors, has also made a career of retelling those Bible stories which feature women, but Higgs changes the settings to another historical time period.  When I read Higgs's personal review praising Smith's version of Rahab, I knew I wanted to read the book.  I was NOT disappointed.

Smith  paints Rahab with sympathetic strokes, making it clear how few rights a woman had in Old Testament times -- an arranged marriage at a young age, a foolish and greedy husband, a deceptive "friend"  who twists his own lustful desire into slavery, plus the shame of barrenness.  All these details lend plausibility to Rahab position as a prostitute willing to help the enemy, the Israelites, who promise safe asylum for her family. The early part of the book makes Old Jericho comes alive with-- the excesses, the false gods, the emptiness. Soon even the powerful are crippled with fear of Israel's God.  Later readers are given a glimpse of what challenges Rahab would have faced once she joined the victorious Israelites.

Mercy and forgiveness are key themes of this book, and I loved the way Smith works the parable of the man who was forgiven much who then turns around and demands payment of a lesser debt from another into the story of Rahab's husband. This is the first book I have read by Jill
Eileen Smith but I will reading more of her Old Testament retellings.  I received a review copy of this title from Revell Reads.  All opinions are mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment