A Pearl in the Sand

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Title: A Pearl in the Sand
Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Moody
Pages: 320
Released: September 1, 2010

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After being forced into prostitution at fifteen by her father to keep her family alive, Rahab finds to Hebrew spies about ready to be caught. She offers them a place to stay at her inn despite the fact that her life will be in jeopardy as much as theirs. Due to her help, the Hebrew spies make it out of Jericho alive and offer her immunity from the disaster they all know will happen.
The last thing Salmone wants is a Jericho zonah and her family in Judah, let alone in his care. But Salmone’s opinion soon changes when he sees how much Rahab wants to know about God. He soon starts to fall in love with and her him, but can they overcome her past or will it be the destruction of everything?
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The beginning of this tale is incredible. You can feel Rahab’s pain through the pages. A fifteen year old girl forced into this life from a father she thought loved her, then after, the fact that she cried after every encounter and felt overwhelming shame over what she just did. That’s what draws you into this book; Rahab’s pain.
But there is one thing that amazed me in this book. After hearing from her lover about the Hebrews, their magnificent defeats, and most importantly their God, she decides that this God does more for his followers than Baal and Molech ever did and starts to follow the Hebrew God. That is the starting point for this story.
Because this story is originally a bible story, I always look for whether or not the author changed anything in the major story. In this novel the biblical story came at the beginning and I have to say other then language changes to make it more understandable for the reader, this story is almost exactly like the bible story. In fact you could read them side by side and never know the difference.
In fact, the book pretty much stays that way until about the time that Rahab and her family go to the Hebrew camp. With this the author deviates from the bible and starts the romance taking liberties, but I can honestly say that I don’t mind at all.
The book, however, lags about halfway through the storyline. It’s not gritty and heart wrenching like the beginning or the end. It’s not a bad segment, it’s just not a good one. It’s not a segment that turns you off it’s just not a part that draws you in to devour more.
Tessa Afshar is a wonderful author. This book is her debut and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. She truly has a gift from God in this department. She has a way of making places come alive in your head with just a few words and she took a classic biblical story and made it into a romance for a debut novel nonetheless.
The lagging center part is the only part I didn’t care much for in this book and been through that this book still went past my expectations and rose above others to be a contender for on of my favorite debut novels. This book is great for the romantic in all of us or someone who just likes to see bible stories recreated.
I give this book four out of five.

I was given this book free from NetGalley and Moody Publishing in exchange for this honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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