This book has a beautiful story of a young Jewish girl coming of age and coming of faith. Tessa wonderfully works in spiritual food, truth and encouragement into this story which also makes Bible times come alive. Excellent read.
I love romance...can't get enough of it. Nothing better than a good, clean, wholesome, God-fearing love story. This book was all that - and more! I love the way this author writes...she's definitely on my "watch" list from now on. Wonderful, wonderful book. Be sure to check out her other novel, "Pearl in the Sand". Again - simply awesome!
This is a new author for me and I'm so glad I found her. The story is real, reaching your heart as you go through what Sarah is going through. I'd be at work thinking about her! I'm sorry I didn't order the 2nd book right away. I will now.
Sarah is a scribe working in the Queen's court in Persia. Sarah happens to be the cousin to Nehemiah, the cupbearer to Artaxerxes. Sarah loves her job and does it very well. She has not learned the art of being a woman or interacting with people as well as she should. When the Queen arranges for Sarah to marry a cousin to the King, Sarah has to learn her worth comes from God and not her work. Sarah learns how to be a woman in the Persian court. Darius, Sarah's husband, finds that he enjoys his wife. Read Harvest of Rubies to see how an ordinary gardener can teach Sarah and Darius about the ways of God.
I loved this book. This is the second book that Tessa Afshar has written. Both books are filled with wonderful historical facts. Afshar breathes life into some lesser known people from the Bible. The story that she weaves makes it easy to feel like you were actually there. The lessons that Sarah learned about herself worth are lessons that most women need to learn. So often we put our worth into our work or our beauty. When God is waiting for us to realize that He is the one that gives us worth even before we ask for it. He loved us before we first loved him. This story is a rare gem, one that I will treasure in my heart for many years to come.
"On my twelfth birthday, my father discovered that I could read."
It was easy to relate to Sarah. All she ever wanted was approval, but she never received it unless she did something amazing...like reading, writing, or spying. I've always been loved not because of what I have done, but because of who I was, so it would be hard to be in Sarah's shoes.. Throughout this book, Sarah comes to realize that she is indeed loved and wanted by someone, whose approval is really the only one that matters.
Many times, Sarah did some idiotic things and she always had to pay a severe price, whether the pain was physical or emotional. Her dense decisions put pressure on her relationships...even her own marriage. But despite her failure, I found myself quietly rooting for her, even after her embarrassing mistakes (like her wedding day)!
Sarah's husband was totally opposite. I had mixed-emotions concerning him. Several times over, I found myself yelling at him, "You're delusional, man!" Yet at times, I found myself "falling in love" with him right along side Sarah. Next scene, I'd be angry with him. By the end, Sarah's husband finally won me over even when he was still doubtful of Sarah's character. I liked that he always kept me guessing.
The story line was unique, fast-paced, enchanting, and caused some apprehension on my part. Constantly, a new sub-plot unfolded and captured my attention. Three times in the book, Sarah begins to search her heart and I found myself skimming those pages.
At the end, the author doesn't resolve everything, which irked me until I saw that another book was indeed going to be coming out, finishing Sarah's story and beginning Nehemiah's. So, I'll just have to buckle down and wait for that to come out.
Tessa Afshar is a master storyteller. I will be on the look-out for more of her books.
Recommended for ages 14 and up.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Moody Publishers blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.