Tessa is an excellent writer! Her character development draws you in and holds you throughout the book & leaves you wanting more. This story of Rahab is my favorite!! I have recommended it to all my reading friends
I started this book with wondering. . . if I could really enjoy a novel about Rahab, if the author would do any disservice to Scripture, if I would be disappointed. It was fantastic and gave new insights to the Biblical account, fleshing out the humanity of Rahab and her family. I've recommended it to all my friends and family.
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.
I enjoyed this read. I usually shy away from depictions of the Bible but I found this one to be a good read. I felt it stayed accurate to the story while still creating realistic, human (likeable but still flawed) characters. Wove a story that told a plausible explanation to fill in the background not explained in depth in the Bible story. I enjoyed the characters and the writing style.