Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rachel Book Review

Wives of the Patriarchs
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Can true love overcome a legacy of betrayal?
     Rachel wants nothing more than for her older half sister Leah to wed and move out of their household.  Leah wishes her father would find a good man who would love her alone.  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.  The man who wanted only one woman ends 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, bestselling author 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.

REVIEW:  After reading this book, I wondered if the title should have been Rachel and Leah.  While it did cover Rachel and her frustrations of having to share her husband with her sister and having difficulties getting pregnant, the thoughts and frustrations of Leah were also a main feature.  But, if you are familiar with their story in Genesis, their lives are forever intertwined together as sisters and as the wives of Jacob.  Now, the liberties (for lack of a better word) the author took with their stories gave me something to think about.  She chose to have the women share a father but have different mothers, creating a rift in their relationship early on.  Jacob isn't quite the trickster we think him to be when it comes to Laban and his dealings with his uncle.  We see the difficulties of a polygamous marriage, especially when the wives are hated rivals. 
     At times, I didn't like Rachel because she acted like a spoiled child.  My heart went out to Leah because of her unrequited love for Jacob.  The difficulties of having to share a husband and his wanting to stay away from the bickering and fighting just added to the problem.  I liked how Jacob came to appreciate Leah more towards the end of the book and how his love, while his heart still went to Rachel, grew more as time went on.  I also liked how the author had Rachel and Leah develop a friendship and closeness, eventually accepting each others role as mother and wife.  Lastly, sometimes the story seemed to drag.
     This was a good book and gives an interesting look at these three pivotal characters in the biblical story.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Wives of King David series and of Sarai and Rebekah in the Wives of the Patriarchs series.  Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.  Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.  Learn more at

No comments: