At eighty-six, Miriam has devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God as a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of Pharaoh?
Enter an exotic land where thousands of pagan deities are worshiped. Pharaohs rule, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they understand.
Wow! What a powerful retelling of the story of Moses through the eyes of Miriam, his sister! Miriam is eighty-six and has a special relationship with God – El Shaddai. But when Moses comes back to Egypt, God stops using Miriam and starts speaking to Moses. Miriam is realistically jealous. Therefore, through the novel as I gained insight to ancient Egypt, the Hebrews and the plagues, I also read a story about jealousy and learning to forgive. And then, to make the novel even more appealing to me, there are also some love stories woven through the story, one of which is about a man who is totally immersed in his work yet learns to love.
The fictionalization of the account also allows the author to expand a single verse to make it so much more noteworthy to me and I understood better why things happened – or could have happened – the way they did. In Exodus 9:10 it says, “So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.” In this book it expands the beginning of the verse to this –
Moses and Abba Aaron had gained entry through the armory gates and were headed toward Eleazar.
The metal worker leaned close and chuckled. “Aren’t they the Hebrew magicians? Maybe they’ll set the Hittites free too.”
Eleazar rushed to meet them, hoping to send them on their way before Prince Ram arrived for their sparring session. “What are you doing here?”
Moses kept walking. “Yahweh told us to collect ashes from a furnace.” … He stepped around him and walked directly to the central Hittite furnace and greeted the chief iron worker. “I’ll need some soot to take to the throne hall.”
I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down! Although the setting is ancient and much history is revealed, there is nothing new under the sun. The verbal exchanges were real and engaging. At one point Eleazar is angry at Miriam so he ‘crouched beside Miriam, spewing his anger less than a handbreadth from her face. “And why would you risk my wife’s life to save a man (Moses) who’s had more military training than I have and won more battles than the reigning King of Egypt?” Miriam turned away. “Well, when you put it that way, it sounds ridiculous, but I was worried about my broth—”‘
This novel makes me remember that the characters in the Bible were real people with real feelings and emotions and challenges. I highly recommend this book as it not only is a fascinating story, it also brings a story in the Bible to life.I received this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest opinion.
Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.