Monday, July 1, 2013

Harvest of Rubies

Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: River North
April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8024-0558-6
Genre: historical

The prophet Nehemiah's cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she is a woman.

In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father's subsequent emotional distance and she came to two conclusions: that God does not care about her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth - the measure of her self.

Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn't failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.

Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums - her very being proves to be a blessing to others.

HARVEST OF RUBIES is Ms. Afshar’s second novel. I have read Pearl in the Sand and enjoyed it, so I had high hopes for HARVEST OF RUBIES. The story is very well-written, and I loved Sarah’s outspokenness. But the story is mostly told with very little showing which keeps the reader distant.

Ms. Afshar grew up in the part of the world (or near) where the story takes place so she is familiar with the landscape. She also weaves in a spiritual aspect that readers will be able to take from the book as they read it.

Fans of biblical fiction will want to read HARVEST OF RUBIES. It is distantly related to the Prophet Nehemiah, and also to Queen Esther, as it has to do with subsequent rulers of Persia.  $14.99. 384 pages. 

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