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Given to the temple of Atargatis as a child, Delilah is raised to be a priestess to the Five Cities that rule Canaan. She grows up under the watchful eyes of high priestess Derceto, who sees her as a valuable pawn in her political agenda. Meanwhile, in the hills of Canaan, the Israelites choose Samson to lead their fight against the Five Cities. When he catches a glimpse of Delilah, he risks his freedom to marry her, and Derceto seizes the chance to have Samson at her mercy. Caught between the two,...
Given to the temple of Atargatis as a child, Delilah is raised to be a priestess to the Five Cities that rule Canaan. She grows up under the watchful eyes of high priestess Derceto, who sees her as a valuable pawn in her political agenda. Meanwhile, in the hills of Canaan, the Israelites choose Samson to lead their fight against the Five Cities. When he catches a glimpse of Delilah, he risks his freedom to marry her, and Derceto seizes the chance to have Samson at her mercy. Caught between the two, Delilah is forced to question her own heart.
An inventive retelling of an ancient story, Delilah is a tale of political turmoil, betrayal, passionate friendship, and forbidden love.
"A spellbinding, emotionally powerful reinvention of a timeless tale from a master of lyrical language. With Delilah, India Edghill has written a song of the heart set among clashing kingdoms and created an historical novel to savor." ––New York Times best-selling author Nicole Jordan
“In Edghill's beautifully written tale, Delilah and Samson unite to bring down their enemies. This is one biblically inspired historical novel not to miss.” ––Booklist
“Edghill has crafted a powerful, lyrical novel and created two unforgettable characters.” ––Library Journal
“Focusing on a turbulent political atmosphere, betrayal, and a searing passion, Edghill allows the reader to see a man and woman caught up in a doomed love. Four stars.” ––RT Book Reviews
"Richly imagined in hauntingly beautiful prose, India Edghill's Delilah is what the Bible may have been like had it been written by a woman. Delilah is a character whose compelling voice will keep you turning the pages in this truly remarkable story." ––Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti
“Most people know the story of Samson and Delilah, but you’ve never heard it told like this. In this beautifully crafted tale, an all-too-human Delilah speaks across the centuries and tells us what really happened in the lands of the Philistines so long ago. Her story will draw you in quietly at first –– and then it builds to a roar. It’s both mythic and moving, and rife with surprising twists.” ––Donna Gillespie, international bestselling author of The Light Bearer and Lady of the Light
“A fascinating and unorthodox retelling of the Samson and Delilah story as seen through pagan eyes. Through India Edghill’s extensive research and talent for telling detail, this familiar tale takes on a whole new meaning.” ––Naomi Ragen, author of The Ghost of Hannah Mendes and The Saturday Wife
Excerpted from Delilah by Edghill, India Copyright © 2010 by Edghill, India. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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What is a "heart sister?" Do you think Aylah loved Delilah as much as Delilah loved Aylah?
Delilah’s story takes place almost 4,000 years ago in Biblical times in Canaan. What was the political situation between the Hebrews and the Five Cities of Philistia during that time?
Why did Derceto trick Samson? How? What part did Aulykaran (Sandarin’s brother) play, and what role did Aylah play? Why?
Under what circumstances did Delilah see Aylah again after Aylah's wedding to Samson? Under what circumstances? Was Aylah content in her new life? When she revealed what Samson’s true feelings had been, what did she urge Delilah to do? What did she conceal from Delilah?
Samson is a peaceful, patient, and wise man—and he has little tolerance for the Foxes, who wish him to lead them in war against the Philistines. Why didn’t Samson become their leader in order to control them? Even as their leader, do you think he could have controlled the Foxes?
When did Delilah finally realize that Derceto had ordered Aylah killed? Why? What did Derceto want Delilah to do after this happened?
What emotions did Delilah feel when she found out about Aylah’s death? What did she decide to do to avenge Aylah’s death?
Why did Delilah tell Derceto that she had to go to the Seer at En-dor and obtain a prophecy? Did Derceto believe Delilah? What was the Temple’s plan to ensnare Samson in the palace in the Valley of Sorek? What was Delilah’s plan to bring down Samson’s enemies?
Where did Delilah send her daughter when her daughter was seven years old? Where did Delilah then go? What did you think of Delilah’s actions?
The author uses light and dark images throughout Delilah. What are some of the symbols used to represent light and dark? How do these symbols support the story? How do these images help develop the characters Delilah, Samson, and Ayala?
Historical novels try to bring other times and other places alive. Do you feel that that Delilah let you visit Canaan and Philistia? Why or why not?
Posted November 23, 2010
We've all heard the story of Samson and Delilah from the Bible, but just recently, India Edghill offers us a unique perspective in her newest novel, Delilah, on just what her life must have been like.
In the opening chapters of this book, we learn what Delilah's childhood was like living in the palace serving under the gods of the time and learning all she could to become a priestess in the temple of Atargatis, one of Five Cities that ruled Caanan. She spends her life growing up under the watchful eyes of the high priestess Derceto, who sees her as a valuable pawn in her political agenda.
While in the hills of Caanan, the Israelites choose Samson to lead their fight against the Five Cities. When Samson catches a glimpse of Delilah, he is ready to risk his freedom to marry her, and Derceto seizes the chance to have Samson at her mercy. In this detailed retelling of the Biblical tale, we see a more intimate relationship between the characters of Samson and Delilah that may have led each to their climatic end as we know it.
I received this book compliments of Picador Publishers for my honest review and once again being a lover of these Biblical tales, I love it when authors take it a step further and involve us in the daily lives of these characters. India Edghill does an exceptional job at showing readers what life in those times would have been like for any girl and the difficult choices both parents and children had to make in those days. This is a 5 star book.
This book is available in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats.
I strongly disagree with the critics that found this book tedious or complained that the characters lacked depth. They obviously were not reading the same book. All the characters were interesting of course Delilah most of all. But each character revealed another layer to a story I am still thinking about long after I finished the book. What I especially found fascinating was the positive way Delilah's religion was represented. As portrayed in the book Atargatis was a Goddess of love. It was only some of her followers who corrupted her message. I found this book almost impossible to put down and read it in 2 days! I am looking forward to reading the other books Ms. Edghill has written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2009
I am not a connoisseur of biblical fiction. The story is fashioned in such a way to exhibit a snapshot of the current times within the plot, and the first 1o pages were tough to get through for some reason, but as I continued on and reached an understanding of the flow, it soon became a richly rewarding experience.
Some may recognize the legendary story of Samson and Delilah that is used as a theme here. The main gist is that Delilah bewitches Samson with her famed beauty and betrays him by cutting his long hair, stripping him of his heroic powers. The novel doesn't jump right into the heart of that story, instead it guides you in slowly as you are introduced to each character one at a time. There are multiple narratives here, with the first person narrative being told by Delilah as her story began when she was ten. Delilah remained my favorite 'part' throughout the book, as the others were told in third person but with the views of several of the other characters. This typically jars me and turns me off. After I delved deeper into the story of Samson, and returned to the Delilah in first person narrative, it helped me appreciate the technique more. Halfway through the book, Delilah becomes more retrospective and leaves sentences heavy with foreshadowing.
Delilah is portrayed as the girl who simply wants to dance as a form of worship, and that is an honor she has accomplished along with her best friend, or heart-sister, Alyah. The two girls dancing together are a source of beauty and awe, as Delilah's features exhibit the night sky, and Alyah exudes the Sun with the blond hair and lighter coloring. They are treated as a precious commodity within their world of Temples and the Five Cities, and are among the best of the dancers. Alyah is just as much a part of this author's story as Delilah or Samson are; as they each share a love for the other in an amazing triangle that holds them together like a knot to the bitter end.
There is a bit of social structure that needs to be learned here, with the promotion of New Moon to Rising Moon to Full Moons; and the High Priestess ruling for the City's goddess within a Temple, who is at odds with the Prince of Ascalon.. at first a bit overwhelming for me but I eased into the story and let it become familiar to me in its own time. Along with the social structure there is also the political structure that is a large part of the story; as the struggle for power and strength in itself is a major underlying theme with Hebrews vs. Philistines, Temple vs. City, man vs. woman.
And then we finally meet the mighty Samson. Samson's beginnings are dubious and of questionable heritage but he quickly befriends Orev the Harper, and they travel together while swiftly becoming famous. Samson decides to protect a specific road for travelers, aptly names the Lion's Path. As he learns this is not the best choice for him, we follow them along travels, and shake our head at the warnings that Samson does not heed. He goes to the famed City of Ascalon. We reach our climax as we wonder what happens to Samson as he enters this city of the Philistines who see Samson as a criminal due to Hebrew's not sanctioned by Samson committing crime in Samson's name. The climatic chapter begins with quote from the age-old story that is told by the harper Orev:
"Then there came the day that mighty Samson .."Read the rest at http://www.theburtonreview.com/2009/11/book-review-delilah-by-india-edghill.html
Posted February 25, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted December 8, 2009
No text was provided for this review.