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Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of The Wives of King David series, and of Sarai, book 1 in the Wives of the Patriarchs series. Her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.
Posted July 10, 2013
Love this author. I really hate to read novels, but this is the exception. I have read many of her novels. I plan to read them all. She has such a grasp on the culture of the time, you feel like you are really seeing the story unfold before your eyes. I am 1/2 the way through this book. I cannot put it down. This author has such a grasp on the culture at the time, you feel like you are watching Biblical stories unfold before your eyes. This book brings out that there could have been family issues between Abraham, Sara and Isaac after Isaac was almost made a sacrifice. She brought out the point that Isaac would have had to complied to Abraham at the time of the sacrifice. He was young enough to overpower his father and run away. I can see continued emotional issues between father and son. I had never thought of this until I read the book. She challenges me to think about issues I never considered in the story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2013
Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith is a Wives of the Patriarchs novel where Smith weaves a story of sibling rivalry, heartache and forgiveness. This is the story of Rebekah and Isaac. You’re transported back in time where women have little say in what happens to their futures. And when Rebekah experiences the joy of being a cherished newly-wed and then becoming a mother, you can’t help but cheer!
But when Isaac doubts Adonai has spoken to her at the birth of Esau and Jacob, it causes a rift in her relationship with Isaac. It’s hard to see the fabric of their relationship unraveling as you see Isaac favoring Esau because he’s the firstborn. And Rebekah is equally determined that Jacob comes ahead because she was given the promise from Adonai. And so you watch as the big deception orchestrated by a mother and her favorite son changes the course of two brother’s lives.
I got so wrapped up in this story and absolutely loved how Smith ends the story of Rebekah and Isaac!
I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Posted February 21, 2013
My overall opinion of Jill Eileen Smith’s writing Rebekah’s story can be explained in one expletive – WOW!!
Ms Smith certainly displayed her ability to reveal deep inner feelings of each character that brought the age old story of Abraham followed by his blood born children to life. From now on, my personal thoughts of this scripture will vividly be quite different. She wrote with such freedom that only could have come from the Lord.
Rebekah is now known to me in a completely different light – before I had mistakenly imagined her as haggish and manipulative, but Jill brought out her beauty from the inside that endeared her to me. Yes, there were the same small minded or broad minded compassionate beings in that time as in any time. Rebekah and Isaac both showed a more loving compassionate lifestyle toward others, and as human nature proves time and again…resentment , jealousy and distance can mar close relationships through real or imagined slights and hurts.
Jill Eileen Smith’s story is rich in believable information about the personal lives of each character, their thoughts, emotions, fears, and affections. This writing of Biblical fiction caused me to think deeper about the scriptures from whence the story came. Believing in God was as much of a choice then as now. I do have many questions yet as to where Ishmael and Esau spread their influences throughout history. But that is an issue that might better not be questioned here.
My admiration is unmeasured toward Jill’s study and research, placing herself in the position of each character to think deeply as they might have thought. I count this all as AWESOME! She has further interested me in digging out maps and study regarding the scripture from which this fabulous story is written.
This review is following a bit later than others due to personal circumstances; however sharing a few thoughts about this historical Biblical fiction is merited. Indeed a pleasurable and emotional read and proving again God is infinite and blesses beyond comprehension. Thank you, Jill Eileen Smith, for shedding new light on the Word of God. In the future, over time, all of your writings will appear in my personal library. Abigail and now Rebekah have brought joy with my recommendation for all to pick up these great reads.
Posted February 16, 2013
I really enjoy Biblical fiction books. They give you the basic gist of the Bible story, but also bring the story to life - so while it might be hard to understand or see the timeline in the original Biblical text - you get a feeling for the who the person/people of the story were in real life. Knowing that there have been some liberties taken to flesh out the characters, it is the big events in the characters lives that you remember.
In Rebekah's case, this would be her marriage to Isaac - the journey, both physically and spiritually to get to that point in her life. The birth of Jacob and Esau and the betrayal with the blessing when they were older. You are given some background into Isaac's childhood, and his relationship with Abraham and Sarai. Something I had never really thought about before was how I would feel if one of my parents would be willing to sacrifice me if they thought they were following God's will. Imagine what that does to a young child's relationship with their father - and how it affected the relationship between Abraham and Sarai.
While a lot of this is conjecture on the author's part, it makes these Biblical stories not just stories any more, but makes you realize that these were real people. They had the same struggles we do today with following God's will, betrayal and forgiveness. I have really enjoyed this series so far and am looking forward to the third book, Rachel.
Posted February 13, 2013
I really think that Jill Eileen Smith is at the top of my list for Biblical fiction writers. She has such a wonderful style that brings the Bible to life! I just loved this story. Isaac is so attractive in this story, his patience and his deep thoughts make him the perfect hero of the story. How he handled the people around him was inspiring. He loved his brother Ishmael, even though Ishmael was less than kind or even civil to him. The children of Keturah, who were spoiled brats were treated with patience by Isaac. He
was just the ideal man. My favorite part of the story was when he took Rebekah to the mountain where Abraham had offered him as a sacrifice, and where he heard the voice of the Lord stop his father. It was on that mountain with Rebekah that he finally came to the understanding of what that entire ordeal had been about. I cried! A wonderful book that you will not want to put down! 5 stars 314 pages US $14.99 Historical Fiction
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Available February 2013 from your favorite seller of Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing.
Posted February 12, 2013
Yay! Jill Eileen Smith did not disappoint with this, her newest book! Rebekah, the heroine, is a character who is easy to relate to. I know I’ll always remember the insights that I gained about her from this. In the Bible, I’ve always found her a bit hard to understand – how could she and Isaac choose favorites? How could she deceive him like that? This book did a great job with explaining that. I’m not saying that God “spoke” to Jill and told her how it was…but Jill did a great job putting me, the reader, in Rebekah’s mind, so that I understand WHY she might do what she did. For example. Have you ever thought about how Isaac felt after his father Abraham almost sacrificed him? Or what Sarah thought about Abraham doing that? I hadn’t…but after this book, wow, I am thinking about that. Once again, this book is Biblically accurate, like all of Jill’s have been thus far. Jill mentions in the introduction, if I remember right, that after writing this, she saw Rebekah in a whole new light. I understand that totally…I do too. I can’t recommend this book highly enough…and I can’t wait for “Rachel.”
**Revell supplied me with this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to post a positive review, nor was I paid in any way other than the book.**
Posted February 12, 2013
This book follows the story of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac in Genesis of the Bible. The book had a good pace to it, and it help my attention. Some parts held my attention more than others, but--overall--I enjoyed the book. There were some things in the book I did not think were super accurate, but Smith covered her bases. At the end of the book, she had a note about how she may not have everything 100% correct since Genesis gives only a little bit of information to go off of. So, at least she admits she took literary freedom when writing the story. Also, I wished there was some mention of YHWH. Adonay is used, and, in one part of the book, it is confused with "the Name," which isn't super accurate. Adonay is just a title that means Lord and is not G-d's Name. That aside, what I really enjoyed about this book was how it weaved emotion and family drama into the Biblical account. When Rebekah marries Isaac, she learns of his binding that forever changed his life and strained his parents' relationship. We also get a lot of cultural aspects in the book that make it more believable--as if you are in the Middle East thousands of years ago. You feel transported to another world. For Rebekah, we see through her eyes are a foreign king dotes over her when Isaac claims she is just his sister. I could go on, but, long story short, this book covers WAY more than just the story of Rebekah drawing water for Isaac's servant. It covers a broad range of Bible history, with characters thrown in. I hope Smith writes a book about Rachel or Leah.
Though this book is written as Biblical fiction, and the author has taken some liberties in her writing to enhance the possibilities behind the scenes, the basics of Rebekah’s early life and her marriage to Isaac come to life in Jill Eileen Smith’s book, Rebekah.
The romantic beginnings of Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage are delightful, as the author intricately develops their deep love for one another. Their lifestyle of living in tents is a reminder of ‘roughing it’ when on tent camping vacations. Their ‘camping vacation,’ however, doesn’t end.
The book is so realistic that it could easily portray anyone’s life and marriage. The favoritism of the sons is deliberately emphasized to help create the tension and animosity between the boys as well as Rebekah and Isaac. The painful emotions are so personal that they pull at your own heartstrings, as though you are personally there. Jill does this in her own creative, story-telling method that I have grown to love.
This story is not God’s perfect will for a family, but He is willing and able to help them make changes, where willing. In spite of the contention and sin, God used the situation to advance His plans.
If you find yourself in this position, or any other, know that the God of Abraham is there to change you through His Son. Please be willing.
Be sure to check out all of Jill Eileen Smith’s Wives of the Patriarchs and the Wives of David series. You will be pleasantly surprised at the intricacies of the author’s writing.
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant/Blog Tour Coordinator for Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received.
Posted February 10, 2013
What a fascinating read. We walk hand in hand with Rebekah, as a young woman, and then to a Grandmother.
Jill Eileen Smith really brings the Bible to life. We live in the tents with these people. We feel the deceit that happens, and seems to repeat in History.
Because we live in the New Testament Times, things are a lot different. I had a lot of respect for Isaac, and his vow not to take another wife, other than Rebekah. It seems that they had a lot of love for one another, even with the arranged marriage, but the fact of it was who arranged it!
This is a well know Story of The Bible, but it is so brought to life.
I would not envy their way of life, but the faith is so wonderful. Our God, the God of Abraham, truly blessed them.
A point to ponder as presented by the Author...Sarah would not have obeyed God as to the sacrifice?
I found this to be a very fast read, and really could not put it down.
I received this book through the Revell Blogging Program, and was not required to give a positive review.