Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jill Smith kept my focus ingrained in the characters, plot, and time period (Revell)

Posted by Katie Garvin at 5:00 AM
I realized that I've neglected to tell you about an upcoming wedding. Yep, a wedding. My sister's, to be exact! :-) Jacob proposed to her a few days into the new year, and their wedding date is already set for June.

And, as expected, we are all excited!

Lot's of changes up ahead for my family -- and I may have to cut back on blogging...but will certainly try not too! Just gotta see what happens in the next few months!

Anywho, just wanted to tell y'all the news while I was thinking of it, and share this picture with you. :-) Now, on to today's Revell's blog tour!

About the Author:

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of The Wives of King David series. She has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Find out more about Jill and her books on her website:

About the Book:

When Abram finally requests the hand of his beautiful half sister Sarai, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even Sarai's father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if she makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.

But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain, lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?

Combining in-depth research and vivid storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai in this remarkable story of love, jealousy, and undaunted faith.

My Review:

When reading a biblical fiction, I feel there is always the chance that I will get bored with the storyline—since I already know what is going to happen. But with Sarai, I found that Smith wonderfully kept my focus easily ingrained into the characters, plot, and time period.

I loved getting a closer look at Sarai and Abram. They are such important people in the bible—the beginning of a great nation—yet as I followed them throughout the years in Sarai, I saw how many times they struggled, lost faith, failed, wavered. I could almost feel the horrible despair Sarai felt when she was too old to have children. Yet, regardless of that, God fulfilled his long-awaited promise. Amazing.

I thought it was really neat that Smith also told the story from other people’s view point—Lot, Melah, and Hagar. Hagar’s scenes especially interested me, since so little is said about her in the bible. I really came to feel for her as she struggled to find her place as a surrogate mother.

Since Sarai spanned so many years, I don’t think it could be helped that I often felt the storyline a bit jerky. I would’ve liked more clarity at the passing of time, as sometimes I would begin a chapter and it would take a few pages to discover that a few months, or even years, had passed since the last chapter ended.

It was hard to see Sarai come to an end—especially so soon after the promise. The ending just seemed too rushed to me, but maybe that’s just because I’m not partial to quick endings. In all, I found this book a delightful read, and one that opens the way for the next book in the Wives of the Patriarchs series. I am eagerly looking forward to reading Isaac and Rebekah’s story next!

Available March 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I reviewed this book for Revell. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.


Kara said...

Wow, BIG congrats to your sister, Katie!!!! Thanks for sharing the big news and beautiful picture :) Sending you and your family abundant joy and best wishes for your sister's special day!! How exciting and fun, will keep the planning in prayer so that the day is perfect in ALL aspects :)

Great review, sounds like an amazing book! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for another great post!

Charity U said...

Oh, I love that picture of your sister and her fiance! I can see a family resemblance between her and you. :)

Great review...I did love this book, as you know! :) Can't wait to read the others in this series, AND the Wives of King David series. :)

Casey said...

You're sister is beautiful and looks just like you! I thought at first, from the preview pane on my dashboard, that it WAS you. ;-) Congratulations to your sister and her fiancee!

Crystal said...

Congratulations to your sister and her fiancee! That's such wonderful news! Thanks for sharing with us =D

Faye said...

How exciting! Congrats to your sister, and I wish ya'll the smoothest of wedding planning :)

I'm in the middle of Sarai right now :) Great book. It's actually the first time I've read something by Jill Eileen Smith, but I think I'll be reading more from her in the future :) Great review! Thanks.

Katie McCurdy said...

Kara - Thanks! She's super excited (of course!) and wedding plans are abuzz in our house now!
yeah, that's what everyone says! I never can really see the resemblance...except the dark hair! ;-)

I know, I am awaiting Jill's next book (on Rebekah) with great anticipation. That's one of my favorite "love stories" in the Bible!!

Casey - Ah, no, not me...yet!! ;-) Thanks, I'll pass on your congrats!!

Crystal - You're welcome! I can't believe it took me so long to tell y'all!

Faye - Thank you!! Yes, I am praying for a smooth wedding...and I'll be sure to remember to post pictures for y'all!!

Oh, fun! Sarai was a really neat read. I mean, Sarah's story is so well know...but it was SO cool to get such an up-close-and-personal look at this woman!

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