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Sarai (Wives of the Patriarchs Book #1): A Novel
     

Sarai (Wives of the Patriarchs Book #1): A Novel

4.5 35
by Jill Eileen Smith
 

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Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive

Overview

Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.

But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain--lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?

Jill Eileen Smith thrilled readers with The Wives of King David series. Now she brings to life the strong and celebrated wives of the patriarchs, beginning with the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following the successful Wives of King David series, Smith opens her new Wives of the Patriarchs series with this midrashic expansion of the story of Abraham and his wife, Sarah. In the biblical account, Sarah gives birth in her old age to Isaac, as God has promised her husband, Abraham, whose descendants will be as numerous as stars. In this account, the beautiful Sarai, as she is first called, deeply loves her husband and follows him when his Lord calls, even as she waits for decades for the promised child and endures a dangerous passage to Egypt that produces a threat to her marriage in the form of her maid Hagar. Smith is at her best in handling the triangulated relationship between Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar; the subplot involving Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family is less emotionally compelling. The pace occasionally drags, but most of the book is about faithful waiting. Smith breathes new imaginative life into a well-known sacred story. Agent: Wendy Lawton. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441236036
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Series:
Wives of the Patriarchs , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
126,511
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of The Wives of King David series. She has more than twenty years of writing experience, and 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.
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of The Crimson Cord, The Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the ebook novellas The Desert Princess and The Shepherdess. 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. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.

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Sarai 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read although the story has added parts not in the Bible. The author gives you her interpretation of true accounts. I looked forward to reading this story and it did not let me down. I look forward to her other books.
LidaJ More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Of course, the story of Abraham & Sarah has always been once of my favorite stories in the Bible. While reading you must keep in mind that Sarai, is a fictionalized version of the Bible story, yet it brings to life the emotions that Sarai and others might have been feeling, emotions that we would possibly feel if in the same situation. For me it opened my eyes to just how strong Abraham's faith was. It was amazing how he so easily recognized the Lord's presence and His voice. Sarai struggled to have the same faith, but Abraham was a strong example to her so that she had the stronger pull toward pleasing the Lord and her husband rather than the false God's of her neice. I will probably read this again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes the Bible come alive. As I read the book, I also read the story in the Bible. It accurately follows the Bible, but the author's imagination in "reading between the lines" makes for a great read.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith is the first book in her new Wives of the Patriarchs series. The story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah is well-known, but Smith breathes new life into these age old characters. She follows the story of Abram's journey from Ur to Canaan at the Lord's command through God's promise fulfilled in the birth of Isaac. Smith creates a beautiful story of love and friendship between Abram and Sarai that has become tainted over time by her desperate desire to give him a son. Her faith in her husband's god isn't as strong, and she often falters while trying to be patient. She becomes very real in this story ashamed of her barrenness, but proud of her beauty, bitter at Abram's insistence on the pretense of not being his wife in Egypt, but so full of love for him that she's willing to offer up her slave, Hagar, to give him a son. Sarai is a woman of contradictions, one that women can easily relate to, because she is like us. Smith really brings to life the reality of marriage in the little details, how Sarai adjusts her smile to reflect both love for Abram and disappointment in their current circumstances, how she often tries to manipulate him. Sarai doesn't come across as a woman from thousands of years ago, but a woman who would fit very much into the 21st century. Hagar is also given time here, and Smith makes her sympathetic as well, more so than the Bible does. My only real complaint is that I wish Smith hadn't jumped right from God's announcement that Sarai would bear a song to Isaac's circumcision. Because I came to love Sarai so much, I wanted to follow her through her pregnancy, to share her joy at feeling the first kick, to see the aching love when he is finally born and she first sees his face. I felt robbed that Smith didn't take us through that journey with Sarai, but it's a credit to the author that I cared enough about the character to desire that completion. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was quite true to biblical story, including the extra tidbits add-on of author's imagination. I enjoyed reading & want to read all of series. Thanks much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave insight to Sarah
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was hard to put down, even for chores.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story of Sarai deals with doubts I feel a lot of women face; waiting for God to fulfill His promises. For that reason, I was sucked into the story and felt as the characters felt. I am an avid reader of biblical fiction and this story is excellent.
sunnynurse More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book -- historically more accurate than the majority of stories of Biblical characters. I felt as if I were watching the life and struggles of a woman I could understand and feel with and for as she lived with Abraham. Also brought Abraham to life as a real man with real problems and a deep faith in God. Fascinating, and will look for future books by this author on the wives of well-known Patriarchs of the ancient times of the Bible! Read through non-stop in one reading and had trouble with just having it end! Wanted more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Abraham and his wife Sarah of the Bible. The story of a woman who gave birth at 90 years old. His faith strong and hers unsure. Modern language with the feeling of a bitter woman who thought she was barren. I was blessed by this book. I rated only four stars because of the way the boo ended without the sacrifice, which would have made it a five star in my mind. But I highly recommend this book to everyone. Believers and unbelievers alike will enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book. It was extremely well written and very enlightening!
CarmieJo More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. The author makes this story come alive!
Judianne59 More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I had read, and I enjoyed it very much. I have since read her book, Bathsheba, which was also very good.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
This novel brought the Old Testament to life for me. Once again Jill Eileen Smith has given me a greater appreciation for the scriptures. I knew from reading the Old Testament that Sarai was bitter and jealous of Hagar when she felt like she had to give Abram her maidservant at the time she believed she was no longer physically capable of bearing children. This story shows how difficult it was for her, and for me it created a greater empathy for her plight because I better understood her pain. The culture in her day placed such importance on child bearing, and to have everyone around you bearing children had to be really hard. The scenario shown by the author was a great illustration of how taking matters into your own hands often makes things ten times worse than just trusting God. I pitied Hagar and her situation more than ever once I saw her suffering through the character in the story. I love how the author does this with each novel. When it came to the whole situation with Abram telling Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister, I always understood the story in part, but this novel gave backing to the many fears that Abram had for his deception by showing the reasons he said those things. I never understood how deeply it must have hurt Sarai not to be treated as his wife for so long and to be neglected (in many ways) by her husband in the name of protection. I could see how this was selfish on Abram's part and at one point I laughed when Sarai asked Abram if he cared if she died (and implied he was only worried about his own neck.) So while the novel shows the struggles Abram, Sarai, and Hagar had, it also showed their faith. I enjoyed the subplot with Lot as well and his family drama. All in all this was an engaging read. I didn't see any inconsistencies with Scripture and feel like the author did a great job filling in the blanks to bring about a clearer picture of the past. Well done!
MysM More than 1 year ago
I read this book last winter when my Woman 2 Woman Bible study group at the church was studying a book about Abraham. While the book about Abraham was a well-researched, in-depth Bible study, this book about his wife Sarai is more historical fiction since there is so little we're told about Sarai (or Sarah) in the Bible. However, this too, is well-researched and Smith is very familiar with the culture of the time as well as the Biblical references, and creates a compelling historical fiction about the life of the wife of the patriarch of the Jewish faith. While Abraham, according to Biblical accounts, was chosen by God to begin a new nation to revere and serve God, it was a journey of obedience for him over many decades where he often put Sarah into difficult and even dangerous situations because he tried to make moves on his own without consulting God. How Sarah may have viewed her position and her husband's mistakes make for an interesting story, a kind of "stand by your man" story that nonetheless may well have filled her at times with longing, impatience, jealousy, tenderness, and most often, love and respect. We can understand how after being barren all through the child-bearing years, God promises she will still bear a child at age 90, Sarah would have doubts. We can also understand the fear she must have experienced in Egypt when Abraham asked her to pretend to be only his sister and the pharaoh bought her hand in marriage with many gifts. The story also explores her relationship with Lot's wife with her idols and her constant reminder that she had been blessed with children while Sarah was barren. Compelling Historical Fiction The story is told in a compelling fashion with the most interesting events of the more than 100 years of Sarah's life including the destruction of Sodom and Abraham's growing relationship with God. It is well-written, well researched, and totally plausible and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was a little abrupt, but the rest of the tale was well told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely rendering. The attempt to remain true to Scripture was successful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this version of Sarai... and her battle with sending her husband into the arms of another woman, and his battle with guilt in doing so because they loved each other so much
Sandragon More than 1 year ago
This book gives an interesting look into the thoughts and actions of Sarai (Sarah). Her motivation in giving Hagar to Abraham, and the consequences of her decisions. It was a very good story, although the love story was a bit unusual!
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