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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations



by Orson Scott Card

Reviewed September 9, 2001.
Available at Sembach Library.

A book about a Biblical character written by a renowned Science Fiction writer?  I had to try it.

After a few chapters, I was pleased--I decided this was the best Biblical novel I’d ever read.  The writing is excellent, and there’s much about life in the time of the patriarchs that I didn’t know.  I did eventually bump up against some of my preconceived notions.  I didn’t like it when he said that God told Abram to lie and pass his wife off as his sister.  However, he made it a situation where Abram really would have been killed if he hadn’t, so, okay, maybe that could have been how it was.

However, when he made Sarai believe it was God’s idea that Abram try to get a son through her handmaid Hagar, that really bothered me.  Especially when Abram checked the idea out with God and got His okay.

To me, it makes more sense that Abram, the great man of faith, got tired of waiting years and years and decided God needed some help.  To me, it’s inspiring to know that even a truly great man of faith had a lapse, but God took his lapse and used it for good.  (Although he didn’t spare Abram some of the negative consequences.)

Besides, Orson Scott Card’s version made Abram just a little too perfect.  Okay, that made the characters a little nicer to spend time with, but I feel the Bible presents him as a bit more human.

So--I’m not sure I should read any more novels about Biblical characters!  I have too many ideas of my own about them.  However, if you like that sort of thing, this one is beautifully done.  And Sarah’s story is a gripping one, so the book is good even if you aren’t reading it because it’s a Bible story.  Despite my strong objection to that part, I really did like the book.  However, he’s doing more novels based on the women of Genesis, and I can’t decide if I even want to open the one about Leah and Rachel!

Reviews of other books by Orson Scott Card:
A War of Gifts
The Dragon Quintet

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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