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.
Writing a book is daunting enough, choosing to write about a Biblical character ups the stakes even more. Debut novelist Tessa Afshar is more than up to the challenge in her beautifully rendered story of Rahab, the Canaanite prostitute named in the lineage of Jesus. Tessa acknowledges there is little known about Rahab and Salome, highlighting the Biblical references and encouraging readers to examine them, acknowledging her story is extrapolation. Her vivid storytelling brings the fall of Jericho into sharp focus, the fear of the Canaanites palpable as God’s unusual plan unfolds as the Israelites march around the impenetrable walls. Rahab and Salome’s love story is evocative and compelling while Rahab’s journey from an idolatrous harlot to a believer in the one true God, is heartrending and inspiring. The spiritual threads are woven effortlessly throughout, from the consequences of Rahab’s past and Salome’s pride to the healing power of God’s forgiveness and the hard reality of His justice. Pearl in the Sand is reminiscent of Tosca Lee’s Havah and Francine River’s Redeeming Love and I don’t make such comparisons lightly. I trust this is just the beginning of many more books from such a talented author.
With thanks to Wynn~Wynn Media for my review copy
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