Customer Reviews for

Harvest of Rubies

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Most excellent

The only thing bad about this book is that we have to wait fot the next one! Well thouht out and written. The author is a word-smith, her style is intellegent & compelling. As a guy who typically leans toward the sci-fi, adventure, military novels, etc., I found this ...
The only thing bad about this book is that we have to wait fot the next one! Well thouht out and written. The author is a word-smith, her style is intellegent & compelling. As a guy who typically leans toward the sci-fi, adventure, military novels, etc., I found this book (& her other book) just as fulfilling a read, actually moreso. You won't be disappointed.

posted by Jonnothing on June 25, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The descri

This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The description isn't clear, but you only get 38 of 384 pages. Get the full book

posted by JoyK1 on July 25, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 59 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Loved it!!!

    Well written. Interesting time period and story. A most enjoyable read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Really enjoyed

    Sometimes you just want to go some place

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Briarclaw

    *A greenish tom walks in* "may i join"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Loved it

    Amzing story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    I truly enjoyed reading this book. Wonderful read.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Very good read.

    Love this story and author. Looking forward to many more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Amazing read!

    This isn't my typical go to read. I'm in love with western books so this was a little out of my comfort zone. I absolutely loved it though! The characters, story line, everything! I just bought the sequel and I can't wait to start reading it! I finished this book in two days, I just couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    A beautiful story

    I really enjoyed the book. The story of low self worth and realizing you are special to so many. Awesome. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Great book

    By far one of the best books I have read. Easy read, great story lines and interesting historical facts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Historical Fiction & Devotional

    This is an incredible story set during Persian times. Afshar not only weaves a strong plot, but also ties in principles of faith and hope. I was nearly in tears at different points, listening to the Gardner Bardia instructing Sarah about vineyards and sufferings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Great book!!!!!!

    I love this book! It has a great plot, and great characters. I would highly recommend this book. It's very well written.

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  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Tessa Afshar has written two outstanding novels: Pearl in the Sa

    Tessa Afshar has written two outstanding novels: Pearl in the Sand, and now Harvest of Rubies. Both novels are historical Christian fiction, and are more biblical than other Christian fiction, which I really like. Pearl in the Sand tells the story of Rahab, a Caanonite harlot who falls in love with one of Israel's leaders. I read Pearl in the Sand back in 2010 and still think back on how good that book is! In fact, I gave it as a gift to my mom. Then, this Mother's Day, I gave Harvest of Rubies to my mom. She was so excited to see that Tessa Afshar had written another book! I didn't think that I would like Harvest of Rubies more than Pearl in the Sand, but I liked it even better (and my mom agrees).

    Harvest of Rubies tells the story of Sarah, who is the prophet Nehemiah's cousin. I am foggy on the Old Testament, but the name Nehemiah did ring a bell. I don't remember Sarah as his cousin though, which allowed me to start Harvest of Rubies with no preconceived notions of how the story should go. I love it when I can go into a book with no expectations!

    I liked Sarah from the very beginning. She is a reader---which is very unusual for a woman in 457 B.C.---and I love to read about fellow readers. Sarah's father is a scribe and teaches her to read and write in several languages. Sarah's cousin is Nehemiah, who is King Artaxerxes' cupbearer. The cupbearer is the person who tastes all of the king's food and beverages before the king, to make sure they are not poisoned. I had thought this position to be a somewhat lowly one, but the cupbearer was actually a person of great influence and respect, due to how much time he spends in the king's presence. Nehemiah speaks on Sarah's behalf to the queen, and as a result, Sarah becomes the chief scribe to queen Damaspia.

    Sarah is a workaholic, and finds her happiness and validation in her work. She believes in God but does not turn to Him with her problems, as she is holding a grudge of sorts for her mother's untimely death and subsequent feelings of abandonment by her father. Her father loved her, but did not know how to raise a young girl, and his treatment of her (which pretty much consisted of leaving her to figure things out for herself) left Sarah feeling unloved and unwanted. She has struggled with these feelings for her entire life, and thus throws herself into her work to suppress the pain of her past. Sarah soon rises to be a highly respected and valued member of the court and it is her work ethic that ends up getting her in trouble. Queen Damaspia rewards Sarah's loyalty and hard work by giving Sarah an aristocratic husband. But the last thing Sarah wants is to be taken away from her job as a scribe and to be married, especially to an aristrocrat.

    But her feelings are not taken into account---how could she defy the queen?---and Sarah is married to Darius. By her own thoughtless actions and focus on her work, she bungles the marriage right from the start, earning Darius' disdain and becoming the laughingstock of the court. Sarah is at the lowest point in her life, having lost her work, which was her only source of validation, and has to make a choice: wallow in despair or ask God for help and try to turn the situation around. She chooses the latter, and most of the book is about her journey to becoming a different person: a person who relies on God for validation and self-worth. Her husband may not love her, but God does, and that has to be enough for Sarah.

    What I loved so much about Harvest of Rubies was Sarah's journey. Afshar seamlessly weaves Sarah's tale of personal growth into the setting of biblical times. I felt like I was learning something about history and about the Scriptures as I was reading, but without feeling "preached to." I loved watching Sarah grow and change. I especially loved how she quotes the psalms of David for strength and guidance. One of my favorite passages in Harvest of Rubies is:

    "David knew how to walk the path of affliction while being settled firmly in the joy of God's presence. I wanted to learn to be like David, to have eyes that saw the loving hand of the Lord even in the midst of unfulfilled dreams" (Afshar 327).

    Isn't that so beautifully written? So many times while reading, I thought, "Yes, this is exactly how I feel!" I love that. I felt like Afshar was really speaking to me personally. I felt encouraged and lifted up after reading Harvest of Rubies.

    Until I realized there was going to be a sequel, I was not totally thrilled with the ending. There were certain things that were left unfinished, things I wanted to see finished. But, I will have to wait until the next book for Sarah and Darius' story to be completed. I can't wait to read more from Tessa Afshar. I highly recommend Harvest of Rubies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Amazing

    Love love love Tessa Afshar! Her protagonist is someone you can reaaly care about, and she writes with such [apparent] ease about that culture and time. Cant wait to read the rest!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    The mysterious cover of this book intrigued me, and the contents

    The mysterious cover of this book intrigued me, and the contents of its pages equaled this image. As a lover of history, I was captivated with the knowledge presented of the setting at 460 BC.

    The author's descriptions of each scene beautifully portrayed this culture. I was interested in the dynamics of an arranged marriage, a concept that is so very foreign to me. The relationship between Sarah and her husband growing from stranger to lover was complex, and showed the effort needed to make an arranged marriage work.


    The author has included a timeline, cast of character descriptions, and even typical recipes from this period. As with Pearl In The Sand, Harvest of Rubies will not disappoint the reader. You will want a copy and an afternoon or evening to devour this fascinating novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    I enjoyed this book is well researched and I loved the Biblical

    I enjoyed this book is well researched and I loved the Biblical history! The characters were well developed and believable! The author was GREAT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Excellent book!

    I enjoyed reading this book!

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

     Harvest of Rubies.  Given to me free for a review by Moody Publ

     Harvest of Rubies.  Given to me free for a review by Moody Publishing.

    Harvest of Rubies was a book I was waiting for. I have heard wonderful interviews with Tessa, and I think her story was a wonderful idea- a young female scribe raised by a distant father and doing a man's job. Sarah does not know how to be a woman and at 23 is an unmarried scribe for the Persian empire. She lost her mother at a very young age and the person who watches out for her is Nehemiah, her cousin, who is cupbearer to the King.  I admire the story, the writing, and the idea of a girl who comes to know that she is not worthy of Love based on her performance- but because she is God's child.
    I love the Biblical metaphor of the Grape vine and the Husbandman who tends it that Tessa incorporates in her story.  The gardener who tends the grapes seems to cut them so that they will die- pruning them until Sarah is sure they will never live and bear fruit again. Her life has been pruned and she too fears she will never live again. She lost her mother at seven and although the words of the Hebrew Psalms remain in her mind, this Jewish Maiden does not trust God's pruning. It is only when her own life begins to bloom again that she understands that the grapevines pruned the most by the gardener are the ones who bear the harvest- a harvest of rubies.
    "How like the vine I had felt that day, stripped almost to the point of death, everything I held precious taken from me. 
    How I had longed for my old life back. And yet... God had intended to do me good by dismantling my world. 
    I had thought that my work was the measure of of my worth. I had made my accomplishments more important than friendships, more important than my heart, more important even than God. The more I clutched at my achievements, the sicker my soul had grown. 
    And God in His mercy, in His uncompromising Love, had torn the sickness out of my chest. 
    I remembered suddenly the Words of the LORD through the prophet Hosea. 
                 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her
                 and bring her into the wilderness,
                    and speak tenderly to her.
                        And there I will give her her vineyards
                             and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
                           And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
                    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt."
     I think the premise is fascinating. I wish this book had been written without any of the "romance" though. I had to skip chunks of this story to get around the "love story." Novels- no matter how well written that contain romance do not foster thoughts of men as "brothers in all purity." And so, very reluctantly because of the goodness of the story idea, I give this novel two stars.  

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    More excellent Christian Fiction

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It quickly caught my attention and was hard to put down. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to any Christian reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Get the Book its Worth it!

    Skip the sampler and get the book. This author writes an amazing story. This fascinating story is set in the Persian empire of Arxtaxerxes depicting a Jewish woman who becomes a scribe. This was my first book that I have read by this author and I loved it . It was interesting from beginning to end. I like how the author incorporated biblical history throughout. As I read this novel I frequently thought about the main characters experiences and how she handled them while growing spiritually. The character set an example for us today through her trials and errors. Sarah (main character) realizes that she has much to offer besides her knowledge of numerous languages. I obtained a copy of this novel from Net Galley & the publisher for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Anonymous

    I originally brought the sampler, but quickly realized I had to buy the book. A very good read. Enjoyed the book and the story line.

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