Given to the temple of Atargatis as a child, Delilah is raised to be a priestess to the Five Cities that rule Canaan. With her beloved friend Aylah, Delilah grows up under the watchful eyes of high priestess Derceto, who sees the devout young priestesses as valuable playing pieces in her political schemes.
In the hills of Canaan, the Israelites chafe under the rule of the Five Cities, and choose Samson to lead them to victory. A reluctant warrior, Samson is a man of great heart who prefers peace to war. But fearing a rebellion, those who rule the Five Cities will do anything to capture Samson. 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. The Temple's intrigues against Samson force Aylah and Delilah apart, lead Delilah to question her own heart, and change her future forever.
A glorious and inventive retelling of an ancient story, Delilah is a soaring tale of political turmoil, searing betrayal, passionate friendship, and forbidden love.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||459 KB|
About the Author
INDIA EDGHILL is a librarian living in the Mid-Hudson Valley in New York. She is the author of two other novels, Wisdom's Daughter, which was a Romantic Times Nominee for Best Historical Fiction, and Queenmaker.
India Edghill is a librarian living in the Mid-Hudson Valley in New York. She is the author of Wisdom's Daughter, which was a Romantic Times Nominee for Best Historical Fiction, Queenmaker and Delilah.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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