Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: The Prophetess: Deborah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith

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Title: The Prophetess: Deborah's Story

Author: Jill Eileen Smith

Series: Daughters of the Promised Land #2

Genre: Biblical Retelling

Audience: Adult


Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she'll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai - and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan's armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God's calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?

**3 stars**

Sometimes I wonder why I read Biblical retelling; every time, it seems all my sensors are on, looking for something to criticize. I just have an issue with authors taking so much liberties with Bible stories! The Prophetess: Deborah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith wasn't so bad, actually. I didn't like it as much as the first book in the series, but by the end, I wanted to give it a 3 star rating.

This book retells the story of Deborah, a prophetess from the Old Testament in the Bible. (You can read the real account of some of her life in Judges chapters 4 and 5.) She lives in a time when an enemy of Israel is terrorizing the land; secret idol worship lurks; and Deborah herself must lead due to her visions from the Lord.
     In a time of strife, Deborah also battles her headstrong daughter, and wishes she had something different than her relationship with her husband is right now.

So, I couldn't really get into this book at first. I didn't particularly like how the characters were acting, and was wondering where some of the themes were going to go. As I mentioned above, I was all alert for misinterpretations of the Bible! Ah. So that made a good part of The Prophetess: Deborah's Story unlikable for me. Deborah and her daughter could seem to have little respect for men. A man is filled with hatred toward his wife and hits her, because she was found to be worshiping an idol. As terrible as the act she committed was, he was trying to justify his hatred toward her as righteous almost. So yes. I was just like, Where is this all going?

However, by the end of the book, all that was well resolved, I feel. And some poignant lessons learned! Though the majority of the novel is quite loosely based on Deborah's life, I'm pretty sure the really big parts did not differ from what the Bible says happened. So it wasn't a hugely enjoyable read for me, but I did love the ending. There was so much healing, beauty, and restoration.

Overall, it's a nice Biblical retelling from Jill Eileen Smith.

I received a copy of The Prophetess from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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