One of my favorite ways to learn about the Old Testament is through fiction. I’m always amazed when an author can take a section of Scripture and its characters and make them jump from the pages.
Jill Eileen Smith did that for me in “The Prophetess.” She brought the great female judge Deborah to life. She created a picture for me of what life was like back then … the culture, the landscape, the people, her lineage, her daily encounters. She painted pictures of relationships and family and the struggle to love well and the long, dry days when God held silent. She wove a tapestry that allowed me to relate to Deborah as a woman, a wife, a mother, a leader. One who was called by God to speak to His people and lead them well.
I was struck by the intense faith Deborah had in the Lord, her journey with Him as she learned to listen to His voice, and the idea of her own husband being the one to teach her the Lord’s laws. His belief and tenderness propelled her forward, even as she doubted her love for Him. And whether it was accurate or not, his tenderness combined with her strength had to make for some interesting marriage issues.
Through the characters of Barak and Talya and so many others, I thought the story was well told. There was depth and emotion and a reality to life that really, at the end, made me glad for the book. I definitely recommend it to all my reading friends who love historical fiction.
*Review given for blogger review book copy.