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 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!
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.
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.