Title: Sarai
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Publisher: Revell
Series: Wives of the Patriarchs
Pages: 320
Published: March 1, 2012


When Abram finally requests the hand of his beautiful half sister Sarai, she asks only one thing- that he not take another wife. Her father finds this promise restrictive and only agrees if she makes a promise as well. She has to procure Abram a son and heir or else Abram’s promise is null and void. Sarai is confident that she can keep up her end of the deal, so she agrees.

As years pass and Sarai has yet to give birth even once, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain, lest Abram decide he no longer has to keep his. How far will Sarai go to bear a son? And how long will Abram’s patience last?

This book takes a Bible story every Christian knows well and makes it into a story that tugs your heart and makes the magnitude of that time for Sarai evident in every turn of the page. Jill Eileen Smith has such insight into her character development and historical and biblical accuracies. She makes her stories come alive in a way that I’ve very rarely had happen before. It makes your heart twist every time the characters’ doubts and fear override their faith, because you know that God never forgets a promise.

Though I know this story well, this book adds new perspectives into my knowledge of the story, it makes the pain and feeling of failure on Sarai’s part all the more real. It made my perception of this story change in ways I never thought possible. This author is so much more than I expected; this book is so much more than expected. This book is slathered in drama and faith that it’s hard for any reader to come out untouched by this story. This book definitely reawakened my want to read this biblical story again.

As for characters, the author defined each character differently making wants, desires, and needs all different for each character. The biblical version didn’t really delve into the personal lives and feelings of the characters and the author changed that with incredible insight into the lives of women in this situation and women living in biblical times. This author took a well known Bible story and expanded it into a glorious fictitious story.

Taking a Bible story and remaking it into a fiction book probably isn’t easy. There’s so much to take into consideration, there’s the biblical accuracy as well as historical accuracy to take into account and this author balances it really well, she uses a little bit of modern language but it makes the story more readable and isn’t noticed overly much. The author mixes history and her imagination very well in this book and it makes this story believable. The way this book was written shows the author’s passion for her subject matter.

There isn’t really romance in this book, like I originally thought, but the love that is evident in Sarai and Abram after over fifty years of marriage is the stuff of dreams. Passion is the last thing Sarai and Abram’s marriage is lacking. There is sex mentioned in this book, naturally due to the contents, however, it’s discreet and talked about in biblical lingo. Seduction is also something handled in this book, again discreetly and again in biblical language, making hardly something to worry about.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this biblical remake and I think it’s perfect for those that love biblical fiction. It’s probably not best for younger readers or young teens, but I’d say it’s perfect for a late teenager and any adult. I give this book a four out of five.

I received this complimentary copy of this book from the publisher specifically for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.