The Shadow Womenby Angela Elwell Hunt
Under the shadow of ancient Egypt, a baby boy is born to a peasant woman. His young sister leaves him in a basket in a river, hiding in the rushes to watch over him until a princess comes to claim the child as her own. She names him Moses, and he grows to become a man whose life is characterized by violence and terror, but equally by faith, and whose sacrifice… See more details below
Under the shadow of ancient Egypt, a baby boy is born to a peasant woman. His young sister leaves him in a basket in a river, hiding in the rushes to watch over him until a princess comes to claim the child as her own. She names him Moses, and he grows to become a man whose life is characterized by violence and terror, but equally by faith, and whose sacrifice ultimately leads to the redemption and liberation of his people from slavery. Told from the perspective of the women who loved him, from his mother and sister, who saved him by giving him up, to the Egyptian princess who adopted him, to the shepherd's daughter he married, this epic novel of passion and intrigue offers a fresh perspective on the man who received the 10 Commandments, parted the Red Sea, and led God's people out of Egypt: Moses, one of the most enigmatic figures in Biblical history.
Author Biography: Angela Elwell Hunt is an established and successful CBA author. She lives with her youth pastor husband, Gary, and their two teenagers in Florida.
Myrna Dee Marler
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.28(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.18(d)
- Age Range:
- 13 Years
Read an Excerpt
The Shadow Women
By Angela Elwell Hunt
Warner FaithCopyright © 2002 Angela Hunt Communications, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneEGYPT, THE BLACK LAND
Now a new king arose over Egypt, who had not known Yosef. He said to his people: Here (this) people, the Children of Israel, is many more and mightier (in number) than we! Come-now, let us use our wits against it, lest it become many-more, and then, if war should occur, it too be added to our enemies and make war upon us or go up away from the land!
So they set gang-captains over it, to afflict it with their burdens. It built storage-cities for Pharaoh-Pitom and Ra'amses ...
Now Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying: Every son that is born, throw him into the Nile, but let every daughter live.
Now a man from the house of Levi went and took (to wife) a daughter of Levi. The woman became pregnant and bore a son. When she saw him-that he was goodly, she hid him for three months. And when she was no longer able to hide him, she took for him a little ark of papyrus, she loamed it with loam and with pitch, placed the child in it, and placed it in the reeds by the shore of the Nile. EXODUS 1:8-11; 2:1-3
In my seventh year, as the waters of the inundation rose to cover our fields, I noticed a subtle change in my mother. Yokheved, who usually hurried from one task to the next in thin-lipped concentration, became quiet and dreamy. She hummed the old songs as she worked the dough and cut the reeds, and at night she lit the lamp in our small hut and murmured her evening prayers with renewed fervency.
Neither my father nor my mother explained this change, and my little brother, Aharon, knew nothing of women-at three, he cared for little more than his next meal. My aunt Adah, however, who had always longed for a little girl, drew me onto her lap one afternoon and spoke of the secret my mother carried.
"Your mother, Yokheved, is going to have a baby," she whispered, the corners of her eyes crinkling. "And if the God of our fathers is faithful, this baby will grow to be a man strong enough to deliver us from this bondage."
I knew nothing of bondage then, for we children were as free as the birds who lived in the marsh, but I knew babies were dangerous. Twice in the last month Pharaoh's soldiers had come into our village and taken boy babies away from their weeping mothers. Though no one would tell me what happened to those baby boys, I knew. Once I followed the soldiers to the edge of the marsh, where their boat waited. They climbed aboard the vessel with the crying baby, but as the boat drifted into the river's current, one of them dropped the baby over the side as if it were of no more importance than dung. I heard a splash, then nothing but silence as the baby disappeared forever.
Why did my mother think the Egyptians would not come for her baby boy?
My eyes fell upon my brother, Aharon, whose life, everyone assured me, was a sort of miracle. The midwives who attended my brother's birth had been supposed to kill him in Pharaoh's name, but they would not. Those two old women did not look capable of killing anyone, and they often patted my head when they came to our village. But they always rejoiced more over the birth of boys than the arrival of baby girls, and their obvious preference puzzled me.
Why should boys be more celebrated than girls? Girls did all the work in the village. Girls grew into women who bore the babies and cooked the meals. Women told the stories and said the prayers. Boys grew into men who got up every morning, went away for a few hours, came back, ate dinner, and went to sleep.
So why were they so prized?
Aharon was certainly nothing special. He was like one of the dogs that lived in our village-always following, always rubbing against my leg, always sticking his nose into my things. Yet my mother doted upon him, pulling him onto her lap at night while she crooned the old songs until he had fallen asleep....
I do not remember her ever singing to me.
"This new baby," Aunt Adah said as she fondly patted my leg, "might be the leader for which we have been praying."
This remark caught my attention. Not many of the women in our village prayed at all; a few actually presented offerings to carved statues of the Egyptian gods. But my mother prayed to an unseen God she could not even call by name.
"So you must help your mother more in the days ahead," Adah continued, "and you must keep her secret from the others as long as you can.
And the Egyptians must never, ever know that a new baby has been born in Amram's house."
I nodded, knowing that Adah would take my silence for agreement, while I wondered why things in our house had to change. I did not want another brother; I did not want to have to help my mother keep a secret. Most of all, I did not want my mother to do anything that would bring the Egyptians to our village.
But I was only a girl, and a little one at that. So no one asked what I wanted.
No one seemed to care.
Excerpted from The Shadow Women by Angela Elwell Hunt Copyright © 2002 by Angela Hunt Communications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
"The Shadow Women" was excellent! I really got the sense on how it was to live in the days of Moses. At the end of the book there are questions and answers about the book. I thought that was great. I've been reading more christian historical fiction and it was nice that some scenes were exsplained. Such as why the author added a certain part and if a story that was told could have been true. I did not give 5 stars because I thought there was way to much about Egyptian culture.
This book was wee researched and brought the biblical characters to life. I enjoyed it so much I purchased another book by the same author as soon as I finished this one.
Mz Hunt has a way of bringing new life to an old story. She put lots of study into this book. Much research on lifestyle and such. Great book. Looking forward to more of her books.
When the name Moses is said, the image most likely that comes to mind is Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea or thundering down Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments in hand. Yet, there is much more to the character, and Ms. Hunt uses the women of his life to show modern readers that. ................. His sister Miryam sees Moses' (Moshe) life begin. Though under orders from their Egyptian overlords to kill all newborn males, her mother tries to hide her child, until it is absalutely neccessary to place him an in ark like Noah's, and put him in the Nile. There he is found by Pharoh's daughter - wife, Merytam, the child of Ramses most loved wife, Neferrtitti, and Pharoh's most recent wife. She is barren, and seeks an answer from her gods to hide the condition that would exile her to the harems for the rest of her life. Finding the baby solves her problem, though keeping him alive in the face of coniving, jealous court advisors will not be easy. Perhaps it is only her desperate prayer to the unknown God of the Hebrews that saves her 'son's' life. ............... Moses grows to adulthood, never dreaming that he is one of the 'mud people' that his people have enslaved. Learning the truth triggers an incident that sets off his rage and reveals his secret. Exiled and outcast, Moses flees to the lands far from Egypt, and makes a new life as a shepherd, until he is sent back to Egypt by God, with the mission of freeing his people. ............. Moses is a man without a people, though. He is rejected by Egyptian and Hebrew alike, but he is determined in his quest, and through God's power, he is able to bring his people into the wilderness. As they travel towards the Promised Land, the way is hard, and the people rebellious. On the way, he suffers great loss and many trials. Through them all, his wife and sister watch and support him, despite their resentments and misgivings. ............ **** If you have ever thought a historical novel would be boring, then read this one and change your mind. It is fascinating and true to the Biblical account, though more detailed and sheds light on things that may mystify readers of the Bible. Like the MISTS OF AVALON, the story is told by varied perspectives, but in this case, it is a true story, and one that will increase your faith. ****
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the historical accounts of egypt. It reminded me of the need to be obedient to God's word, and do what He asks you to do. So many other people can get hurt if you arent in step with the Lord. It was a wonderful book.
THE SHADOW WOMEN is an interesting biographical fiction focusing on the life of Moses through the first hand accounts of the three women who most influenced his life by loving and caring for him. Readers obtain an insightful perspective of the Hebrew leader filtered through the lenses of his sister Miryam, his Egyptian mother Merytamon, and his Bedouin wife Zipporah as each tell their side of the story. Seven years old Miryam saves her infant brother¿s life and as an adult lives more like a male leader until her personal encounter with God. Merytamon, needing a baby to cement her position, finds the infant floating amidst the reeds and raises the child with love as if he came from her womb. Zipporah shows her courage when she marries her ¿teacher¿ whom in many ways seems her superior yet she proves that she is his loving partner. The background descriptions are quite powerful reminiscent of Anita DIAMANT'S THE RED TENT, but avoiding the sexual connotations of the latter novel as the targeted audience is quite obvious conservative Christian, especially with the controversial ending. Though inconsistent at times, Angela Elwell Hunt sculptures an engaging look at the man who never quite made it into Canaan that will please her chosen readers. Harriet Klausner