Book Review: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Title: Pearl in the Sand
Author: Tessa Afshar
Details: Paperback, 336 pgs.
Published: September 1st, 2010 by Moody Publishers
isbn: 0802458815 (ISBN13: 9780802458810)

Reading Level: Adult
Source: Won in Contest
Description: 
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection. 

My Thoughts:
I’m not a big reader of Christian Literature.  However, I do love biblical historical fiction.  Some of my favorite books are based on bible stories and they have actually helped in having conversations with my family, in particular my grandmother.  They are very religious and I find I have a hard time relating or conversing with them.  But when I read a fictional story based on a biblical story I feel I can understand things better, and I have something to talk about. 
Most of the biblical historical fiction I’ve read was not religion based.  This one is and I felt more like it was about showing us Gods forgiving ways and ways to be better Christians, etc.  In the beginning it wasn’t so clear but as the story went on it was definitely clear.  But I went into the book knowing it was a Christian book.  I just didn’t know how much would be just a story and how much would be the message of God.  I do think I was a little turned off by it in the beginning, but by the end I was finding myself liking it.  I was understanding and I was seeing how the messages could be good for all of us in our lives.  Whether we believe in God or not, we do believe in Good, and being better people, right?   So the message is good.  For anyone who has gone through something trying in their life, from being a prostitute, to having difficulties in your marriage, there is something for you.  
There were some things I found difficult.  I don’t understand how God could devastate an entire city, killing all the inhabitants without first giving them the opportunity to know Him and make a decision on whether they were ready to accept Him.  But these people didn’t even have a chance to know anything about Him or His ways.  I didn’t really think that was fair.  BUT maybe there was more to it.  Rahab heard of Him through a soldier and she knew almost from the  beginning that he was the God for her.  Perhaps God had found a way for each of the inhabitants to have the opportunity to know of Him.  I’m sure plenty of you have an argument for me and I’ll just say that I’m not well versed on the bible.  
This book was very much a romance.  Although it’s definitely not graphic~ it is a Christian fiction~ it has a lot of the aspects of other romances.  The difficulty’s with a relationship, not feeling like they were deserving of the other, etc.
For those of you who are fans of biblical fiction such as The Red Tent you may enjoy this one.  I know my sister in law LOVES The Red Tent and all biblical fiction and she couldn’t stop raving about this book.  She LOVED it.  I definitely suggest you give it a try.  It’s not a long book and is definitely not a waste of time.  
I have a hard time rating it though.  I can’t decide whether I just liked it (3 stars) or I really liked it (4 stars).  So I guess I’d have to go with 3.5 but since I can’t do halves I’ll round up this time.   It was definitely a book that will stick with me and the messages have influenced my life.  
You can find Tessa Afshar on her website

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