5 Stars Out Of 5
Great Biblical fiction!
October 14, 2015
"Rubies!" I cried. "The look like rubies on the vine. You've grown a harvest of rubies, Bardia."
"On my twelfth birthday, my father discovered that I could read." This is the opening line in Harvest of Rubies, and probably one of my most favorite opening lines in a book ever.
Harvest of Rubies, by author Tessa Afshar, is Biblical fiction set in Persia during the time of Nehemiah, during the reign of King Artaxerxes. Sarah, the main character, but a fictional one, is cousin to Nehemiah. As a child she teaches herself to read and write, a skill not common for women, and eventually finds herself as the queen's head scribe.
Early on in the story, Sarah solves a mystery for the queen, and obtains the queen's favor. Because of this favor, she becomes betrothed to the queen's cousin, thus removing her from her position as scribe and placing her in a position of royalty.
Because the marriage is one that is arranged, there are some things to overcome for the couple, and Sarah finds herself in danger arising from her presence at her new husband's estate.
There were many things I liked about this book. I really enjoy the genre of Biblical fiction, and the time period was one I am not really familiar with, so it was interesting to learn more about it.
I liked the main character Sarah so much. I was so excited that she was a young girl stepping outside of what was generally expected into God's plan for her life. That fact that she was a scribe (writer) and could read, two of my favorite activities, had me hooked from the get-go. (I won't lie though-I was a little miffed when she had to get married, and lost her position as scribe.)
I identified a lot with Sarah. She is a Jew by birth, but since the passing of her mother when she was child, that relationship with God was not tended to. Her relationship with God develops throughout the course of the story and it is a beautiful thing to see. What happens in that relationship and what she learns about herself, also taught me some things about myself. I also learned more about the scriptures, especially John 15. In that passage, Jesus talks about being "in the vine," which is the main premise for this book.
I recommend this book to anybody who wants to become more familiar with the time of Nehemiah, and the culture of Persia, especially the customs of royalty. If you enjoy the genre of Biblical fiction, you will enjoy this book. It is also a love story, so if you enjoy romance, you will like this one as well.
Many blessings as you grow in Christ,
Disclosure: I received this book free from Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program. I was not required to give a favorable review. The thoughts and opinions found here are entirely my own.