I was blessed to receive a copy of Eva Etzioni-Halevy's latest book, The Triumph of Deborah, directly from the author. This book is fiction, but it is based on the bible story of Deborah, one of the more prominent Israelite judges in the Old Testament.
The book doesn't just talk about Deborah, though. Barak, the commander of the Israelite forces, worked with Deborah in battles against the Canaanites. And from one of those battles, two Canaanite princesses - Asherah and Nogah - along with many other freed Israelite slaves, are brought into Barak's household. The stories of each of these very fascinating characters are woven together in this delightful novel.
While I grew up in the church and have heard of Deborah, I did not know what information the Bible gives on her life. And I did not need it. Ms. Etzioni-Halevy gives great details and description on the culture and the laws in place during those times. When she described the times, there weren't lengthy, flowing descriptions of the land, the individual people, etc. Which is wonderful as I tend to get glassy-eyed with that type of writing and just skip over those parts. Rather, the information she included was weaved expertly in little bits within the story so that I didn't even realize I was getting a good historical picture of the times.
I feel like I know Deborah, Barak, Asherah and Nogah and could relate to the thoughts, actions, and feelings of all of them. I felt like I wanted to spend time with them (except for the fact that I am very happy with all the modern conveniences!).
I highly recommend this book. It has romance, war, women's friendship, and history all rolled up into one great novel. I think it would also be a great book for book clubs as there are lots of different paths and choices made that would make for great discussion.
Click here for an interview with author Eva Etzioni-Halevy! And check out her website for information on her other two books, The Garden of Ruth, and The Song of Hannah. There are also discussion questions for each book on the website.
A big thanks to Ms. Etzioni-Halevy for sending me the book!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars