"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This Scarlet Cord, by Joan Wolf

           In this interesting twist on the five chapters of the Book of Joshua that discuss Rahab, we get a glimpse into Jericho as it might have been before and during its fall.  Rahab is a young Canaanite woman who in this story falls in love with an Israelite named Salmon.  As a result of her love, she turns to the Hebrew faith and aids the Israelites in their conquest of the city.
            Rahab as she is described in the Bible is both a prostitute and an ancestor of Jesus.  In this book, she is more a young woman who is caught up in the trappings of the Canaanite faith.  In Jericho, this may well have been the religion of Baal and Asherah, and this is how it is depicted in the book. So although we do not see Rahab presented as a prostitute in this story, we do get insight into a young woman who undergoes a conversion to Judaism as she comes into her maturity. 
            There were moments of this book that drew me in.  Others were more bland.  I did not find the cultural presentation of the era to be convincingly depicted.  Parts of the story seemed to suggest that Rahab's conversion and assistance to the Israelites were more motivated by her love for Salmon than by her love for Yahweh.  I also feel that the story deviates from what we know of Rahab through the Bible and the writings of Josephus.  However, I do recommend this book to anyone who is inspired by Rahab and is interested in a different take on her story.  It is very much a story of female empowerment.

            Three out of Five Stars

            Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.