Pearl in the Sand  -     By: Tessa Afshar
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Pearl in the Sand

Moody Publishers / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

Rahab is an unlikely biblical heroine. Forced into prostitution, she builds up an elite clientele. Then she meets Salmone, a respected leader in Israel. Can a man of faith ever love her---a Canaanite harlot? Will their stormy relationship survive and bring healing to her scarred and shattered heart? A love story only God could conceive! 336 pages, softcover from Moody.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0802458815
ISBN-13: 9780802458810
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's 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.  

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well--walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith...of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.

Author Bio

TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, lived there for the first fourteen years of her life, and attended an English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full- and part-time Christian work.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar is a fantastic example of the proper use of artistic license. Afshar paints the redemptive story of Rahab in vivid color. The story details Rahab’s life from her tragic beginnings as a destitute girl forced into prostitution so she can help support her family to her role as a significant woman of faith and a major player in history. Central themes that come out in the story are: faith, forgiveness, God’s holiness and mercy, and, of course, God’s redemptive power over even the worst circumstances.

Afshar fills in the details of Rahab’s life-changing story by combining biblical and archeological information in a creative form. Pearl in the Sand is a novel that presents a relatively accurate historical account in a fun form. The characters are engaging and even humorous at times.

Rahab was a young girl who was forced into prostitution by her family so they could buy food. Her main hurdles in this story are forgiving her family and accepting forgiveness herself for what she has become. Salmone is a leader of the tribe of Judah. He has a reputation to uphold, and he is not happy when Joshua asks him to take care of Rahab and her family and help prepare them to become part of Israel. Ezra and Hanini are two young Israelite spies who go scouting in Jericho and end up being rescued by Rahab. Miriam is Salmone’s sister and is instrumental in Rahab learning to see the God of Israel. The paths of these characters, and many others, change a little bit every time they cross. Every character from the holiest to the lowliest has something to learn.

Rahab will become a woman known for her faith more than her past, but first she must learn to let go of the past and accept God’s forgiveness for her sins. She must learn that no one is worthy of God’s grace and forgiveness, yet it is free to those who will receive it. Salmone is a strong leader but must learn to see outside of himself and his tribe. He must learn compassion for others who may be different but no worse than he in God’s eyes. Even the sweet, generous Miriam must learn to keep a tight rein on her tongue.

Despite the nature of the characters, Afshar keeps her writing to a solid PG rating. I believe Pearl in the Sand would be a great addition to any Sunday school, church, or home library. There are even discussion questions in the back of the book so readers can more easily process the information rather than just enjoy it literarily. – Rebekah Mosolf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

In Pearl in the Sand, Tessa Afshar has created compelling characters that bring new meaning to this well-loved biblical tale.
-- Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal and Abigail

Pearl in the Sand, the story of Rahab the harlot who became an ancestor of Christ, delivers a very powerful truth within its pages: forgiveness, redemption, and the changing power of God. An unforgettable read, Novel Journey and I give a high recommendation.
Ane Mulligan, Editor
Novel Journey
 

Product Reviews

4.9 Stars Out Of 5
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4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
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Meets Expectations:
4.9 out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 30
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  1. Neky
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Awesome
    June 3, 2014
    Neky
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the best book I have read in a long time! It's a fantastic read and highly spiritual! It's a book that helps you appreciate the love, mercy and holiness of our God!!
  2. JesuSaves
    Canada
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    MARVELOUS.
    August 12, 2013
    JesuSaves
    Canada
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Evocative, masterfully-written, riveting, Tessa Afshar strings together words in a debut that will knock the wind out of readers with its sheer beauty. Many have most likely said this and it's true: Pearl in the Sand is a rare pearl in its genre. The depths to which this story isn't afraid to go is astonishing. Piercing through the thick walls of Jericho and crossing over the river to Israel's camp, Afshar turns the spotlight on a masterful contrast between inhumanity and humanity, leaving me flipping pages as though they were on fire. Then she goes even deeper. 'Pearl', in my eyes, is like baptism. Characters are immersed into a thickness of sorrow so great, it's almost too much to bear, until Grace yanks them out of nowhere, bringing people that are gasping for air, into a light that can only be divine. Afshar has accomplished something very few authors are able to do. Not only could I not stop reading this book but the message at its foundation - a message on trusting God - tugged at my heart with a magnetic intensity that sprung tears to my eyes. I cried, to be honest, and it's been a while since I've cried in a story. I cried as I noticed that Rahab's insecurities and fears starkly mirrored some of my own. I ached as I watched her take baby steps toward The God of the universe and most of all I understood, oh did I understand, her longing, thirst and hunger for the One True God. For all the differences in our backgrounds, she's proven to be the most relatable heroine I've encountered so far. Wholly trusting God is one of my big aims, and several times have I felt Him speak to me on this. Tessa's work has provided a good dose of His Word. When a book rises above its pairs to a level where the strength of the anointing is enough to bring you to your knees, that is superior storytelling, a testimony to the prayers that have most likely been poured into this work.

    On a light note, I was surprised to find witty and very amusing quips in Pearl in the Sand. Tessa made me laugh and grin which immensely added to my delight. I also empathized with Salmone as he struggled to adjust with God's will. I found Salmone to be an amazing man, really. He's got an ironclad exterior but on the inside, he is as smooth and as soft as melted butter. His heart genuinely touched my own heart. Rahab, Salmone, Joshua, Miriam, Ezra and Hanini from Pearl in the Sand are some of the very best characters living in the Christian Fiction world and moreover, Rahab and Salmone's romance is authentically one of the most richly drawn romances I have ever read. Among the beautiful love scenes, one of them was so special, it sprung even more tears to my eyes and I've reread it several times now.

    I have heard - and I agree!- that this book is comparable to Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. But make no mistake, Pearl in the Sand is a gem of its own kind.
  3. living4Christ
    Canada, Quebec
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Loved this book!
    December 7, 2012
    living4Christ
    Canada, Quebec
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    I loved this Book! It was an engaing retelling of the story of Rahab. This story explains how Rahad saved the lives of her family and the spies but it tells what happended when she joined the Isaralites. The romance was beautiful and Tessa Afshar made me feel as if I was transported back in time and I experienced every emotion, fear and joy right along with Rahab. I could not put this book down!Everyone one needs to read this book it brings Rahab to life and allows you see into the heart of a woman that was changed by the amazing love of God. Can't wait for her next novel!
  4. Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Rahab retelling I really enjoyed!
    November 17, 2012
    Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Pearl in the Sand will take you back in time to just before the Israelites conquered Jericho.

    I really enjoyed this one! Miss Afshar did a fantastic job sticking to the Biblical account and still representing plausible personalities for Rahab and Salmone. Staying as true as one can to the Bible always earns points with me.

    Rahab is presented, at first, as someone whose lost herself. She doesn't believe in her people's gods, her father has sold her into prostitution, and she just feels hopeless... Until she hears about Israel's victories and their one God. A curiosity stirs within her as she seeks out their God... and finds peace.

    Salmone is a man struggling with his pride. He knows what the right thing is but he's growing sick of doing it "God's way". So you can imagine his reaction when Joshua said Rahab and her family would be joining the tribe of Judah. Thankfully, he grows and improves his attitude.

    I found this book very enjoyable, despite a few things that can't be avoided. I appreciate Miss Afshar keeping details to a minimum when it came to Rahab's profession before the fall of Jericho.

    I traded a book for this one, no review required.
  5. Kimberly
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Pearl in the Sand
    July 14, 2012
    Kimberly
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Good Biblical fiction gives greater insight into Biblical characters, makes them real, and then after the book is over, sends me back to my Bible to re-read the story afresh. Pearl is the Sand is great Biblical fiction, combining biblical and archeological facts together with a dose of literary license to form a story that I couldn't put down. The lessons Rahab learns about forgiveness - of self and others, God's mercy & justice, and faith are applicable to anyone. Many of the secondary characters were also fleshed out and felt real, too, with lessons in their own journeys of faith. There were fun moments scattered throughout the story as well, including "the lower cough" which made me laugh so hard I had to read that section to my Hubby. I have Tessa's next book waiting on Mt. TBR, and I can't wait to begin reading it.
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