This is enjoyable reading! It’s one of those books I enjoyed as I curled up and relaxed at the end of a busy day. It removes Biblical characters from the context of mythical heroes and presents them as real people. It is a human perspective on people whose actions and stories have influenced the our culture for thousands of years.
Mary Burns takes us on a journey to distant times and places as the reader becomes a fly on the wall spying on legendary deeds. The story is balanced with romance, mystery, adventure, miracles, and human tragedy. It is a book about faith in a God and also the romantic meandering of a young girl's mind as she grows into the strength and wisdom of womanhood. The war and bloodshed, typical of that era, is put into a context of human consequence by emphasizing the grief instead of the horror of those times.
When I settled down and focused on the story and let the rest of the world fall into the distance, I was transported to J’s environment. I was able to see what she saw, feel what she felt, and be inspired by what inspired her. The writer has a remarkable gift. It is also a moral tale of God’s offering of abundance when we are caring, of God’s wrath when we create havoc and of God’s understanding when we make blind mistakes.
The words of Mary Burns allow us observe the frailty of women’s situations in the distant past, how dependant they were on their menfolk and extended families. J’s journey of discovery, of her people’s collective memory and its influence on a nation is simply and enchantingly told. A reminder of how important it is to remember the ancestors, honour who we are and where we have come from.
There is an intriguing twist in King Solomon’s parentage which leaves the reader thinking about what more is there to discover. J’s final vision of the distant future is poignantly sad, but at the same time reminds the reader to always have hope even in times of greatest stress. A great book from this award winning Californian short story writer and mystery novelist!
Reviewer: Deborah Hodgson, Visit: https://sites.google.com/site/sangraaltruth/news