Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope

Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope

by Texie Susan Gregory

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Overview

Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope by Texie Susan Gregory

Four hundred years in slavery, the Hebrew people await deliverance. . . .
And while it is still dark, God is at work.
 
Jochebed’s entire life has been a faith journey as she seeks her mother’s God. The daughter of a Hebrew slave and master basket weaver, Jochebed knows the stories of her ancestors but wonders if the Lord cares how they suffer under the hand of Pharaoh Ramses. . .and if the promised deliverance will ever really come.
              
Ramses, warned of Egypt’s destruction, vows to do whatever is necessary to protect his two great loves, Egypt and Nefertari, unaware that satisfying one will sacrifice the other.
Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife tasked to kill Hebrew male infants, yearns for a place to belong and remembers childhood stories of a merciful God.
              
Doubts are a constant companion to Jochebed, but her foundation of faith leads her to defy the most powerful man in the world in a deadly race to save her son and, ultimately, God’s chosen people.  Two women, each following the dangerous path God has set before them—this is their story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634099608
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,222,373
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Yes, Texie is her legal name and no, she's not a Texan. North Carolina born and bred, she holds Masters' Degrees in Religious Education and School Counseling. Although Texie Susan has served as a teacher, chaplain intern, and church drama director, her favorite calling is being a mother. As Texie Susan taught her children of the Lord and Savior, she became aware of the incredible influence mothers have and of the rippling effect of their words for future generations. Intrigued by who and what shaped the great leaders of the Bible, she began to write the stories of unknown mothers in Biblical times. She and her husband are empty-nesters missing their two young adult children who live on opposite sides of the country. Since they all love to travel, she's thankful they are on the same continent.

Read an Excerpt

Slender Reeds

Jochebed's Hope


By Texie Susan Gregory

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 Texie Susan Gregory
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63409-962-2


CHAPTER 1

Eight years earlier


A single drop of water trembled on the cup's jagged edge before slipping over the brink and splashing onto the dirt floor. Jochebed watched the droplet gather itself into a bead before surrendering, absorbed into the dust, irrevocably changed.

Like her.

Yesterday she had been counted a child. Today defined her as a woman. Yesterday life was predictable. Today was veiled in mystery. Yesterday she understood. Today she did not fathom.

She had known it would happen, the change branding her as a woman and forever locking away her childhood. But on seeing the trace of red, all she had been taught about her future disappeared in a flash of panic.

"Betrothed? Me? Do I know him, Mama?"

"Amram. He is your father's kinsman."

Jochebed leaned against the wall. Oh, to push herself back into yesterday. As her legs turned to water, she slid to the floor and pulled both knobby knees against the tender swells of her breasts. Wrapped in the comforting circle of her arms, the dull ache in her belly eased and the room slowed its spinning.

"But I don't know him."

"His name is Amram, Amram ben Kohath. He is of the tribe of Levi, like us. Remember when we talked of this before, that someone would be chosen for you?"

"But I don't know him."

"I do, Jochebed."

"But I don't." Jochebed reached for another handful of coriander seeds to ease the cramps clenching her belly. "Is he old? Is he ugly? Does he waddle like Old Sarah?"

"He is older than you, but our kinsmen Gershon and Merari have proposed you two will marry." Elisheba's forehead knotted. "I know this is hard, but he is a good man and" — her voice wavered — "your father would be pleased."

At that, Jochebed knew surrender was inevitable, and her shoulders drooped. Everything hinged on what her vaguely remembered papa might have thought in spite of what he had done to their family.

"How old is older? Does he even know who I am? Did he choose me?"

Elisheba picked up her weaving.

"Mama?"

"Your uncles Gershon and Merari chose you, Jochebed, and Amram agreed."

"Who did he choose? Pretty little Lili?"

Elisheba averted her eyes.


* * *

Jochebed crouched in the warm shadows of the house. The heat baked into its mud walls soaked into her lower back while she waited for Mama to return from the elders' meeting. Mama had gone to proclaim her daughter was a woman and marriageable. Jochebed cringed. Did the entire village need to know her most private misery?

If these wrenching spasms were going to come every month for the rest of her life, she'd drown herself in the Nile. She wanted no part of being a woman. She wanted no part of a marriage either.

Mama insisted the kinsmen had honored her with a husband like Amram. What an honor, chaining her to an old man! Why couldn't they have honored Lili? That would make everyone happy.

A heavy lump swelled from her throat, threatening to spill out tears, but Jochebed pressed both hands against her eyelids, refusing to let them fall. Angry at her helplessness, she swallowed and swallowed until dry pain was all that remained.

A soft footstep warned her that Mama was home and had seen her hiding in the darkness.

Kneeling beside her, Mama brushed aside the dark curtain of hair hiding Jochebed's face.

"We will rub thyme oil on your belly to ease the pain. The first two days are often the worst, dear one."

Jochebed whimpered. Another whole day of pain?

"Bedde, since your father is dead and I refused to remarry, you knew our kinsmen would choose your husband. I understand this marriage troubles you deeply. Is it about him wanting Lili or that you don't know Amram?"

It was more, so much more than that. Jochebed turned her head away, closing her eyes against the hot shame she dared not voice and the awful loneliness of being different.

Even if Amram was not a stranger, she did not know how to be a wife. Growing up with just Mother, she knew how to be a daughter, even knew how to be a mother, but a wife? She could cook and mend, but what did you do if your husband was sad? Did you pat his back while he cried? Did men cry?

If Papa were alive, she'd know.

She'd know what it was like to look up and see someone standing there, sure and strong, ready to rescue her or smile his approval. She'd know what men laughed about and what they thought was pretty and if they liked to look at the stars and make wishes. She'd know what it felt like to fall asleep on a man's wide shoulder and be carried home.

But no. All she'd known was being shaken awake to stumble along in the dark with a woman's thin hand to hold her steady.

It seemed everyone else had a papa or a grandpa or at least an older brother to kill scorpions and chase away house snakes. Other girls had someone to hug them when they were scared.

Other families' broken tools and doors were soon repaired by their men, but she and Mama propped the door closed at night with a water jar and hoped bats would not swoop down through the holes in the roof.

She'd seen papas pick up their little girls or catch their hands and twirl them around, holding them up high away from the swirling dust of feet. As they grew older, she heard them tell their daughters they were pretty and someone would be a lucky man someday.

What a lovely dream, to have a man think he was lucky to have her. If only.

Too many times Jochebed had shivered in the chill of Different, longing for someone to notice she stood alone, yearning to be in the circle of Same. Becoming an unwanted wife would seal her fate, casting her as a burden — an insignificant, undesirable person.

She had her mother, but what did Mama know about men? Papa had chosen to die instead of stay with them. Maybe Mama did something wrong. Maybe her mama hadn't tried hard enough to be a good wife — whatever that meant — and if Mama hadn't been worth staying alive for, then how could she possibly be worthy?

Jochebed knew she wasn't as good as Mama no matter how hard she worked at being just like her. She opened her eyes and looked down at her hands, surprised they were not bloody from crawling the unscalable wall of Perfect.

How could she tell Mama of Deborah whispering no man would ever willingly choose her because of what Papa did? How could she explain she'd built a safe place inside herself — a deep hole — so no one could see she was scared and sad, so no one would know she was ... less.

"Bedde?"

Jochebed shook her head. Anything she said would shame her mother, who already suffered too much. She could not add even a scrap of sadness to Mama's shadowed eyes. She would bear this alone.

She would be strong like Mama.

* * *

Ten days.

She had endured being a woman for ten days. Some of the older women winked at her and congratulated her, but Deborah accused her of trying to gain attention by pretending to hurt. It was a nuisance, she scolded, nothing more.

If there was punishment after life, Jochebed hoped that for all eternity, Deborah would have cramps.

"Jochebed."

She looked up to see a man holding a large fish wrapped in palm leaves.

"I am Amram ben Kohath, of the tribe of Levi. Like you, I claim Abraham as my ..."

His lips continued to move, but she could not hear him over the sudden thudding in her chest and ears. This beautiful man with shoulders as wide as the gates of Pharaoh's city and not a trace of gray in his hair was Amram? Her Amram?

"... are kinsmen."

Lowering her eyes, she watched the cloth she had been scrubbing float out of reach. Oh dear. Had she washed her face this morning?

"Jochebed?"

"Yes? Oh, uh, yes, I'm J–Jochebed, daughter of, uh ..."

Amram nodded, the sliver of a smile crinkling through the shadows in his eyes. "I know who you are."

Jochebed blushed. Had she combed her hair today?

"I will come tonight to talk with you and your mother. Would you ask her to prepare this fish for us?"

"Us, yes. I'll fish ask to talk p–prepare her tonight." Jochebed turned and started up the path.

"Jochebed."

"Yes?"

"The fish?"

Stepping closer, Amram offered her the fish, and she caught a whiff of clean sweat. Her hands trembled as she accepted the fish, and his long fingers touched hers. Feathers. His calloused hands felt like feathers. What would it be like to be held by a man — this man?

Jochebed clutched the fish to her chest and spun, stumbling over the basket of dripping cloths. Righting herself, she shook her head. She should not think about his hands and shoulders or wonder how his eyes could be so soft while his arms were chiseled rocks. He would never truly be her Amram. He did not want to hold a thin, serious girl-woman. He desired Lili, her beautiful, bubbly cousin and dearest friend.

Born within moments of each other, she and Lili were more sisters than cousins, their lives woven tightly with the certainty of slavery and the uncertainty of survival. But Lili had a papa and three brothers. She understood men.

Lili would be perfect for Amram. But Jochebed?

How would he ever come to love her?

* * *

Thunder grumbled in the distance. Jochebed scanned the wide expanse for a trace of promised rain, but the sky — innocent and blue — belied its rare pledge. And then, with a shift in the wind, a wispy cloud appeared, dusting the line between earth and sky. Jochebed inhaled, seeking the scent of rain's exotic musk. Nothing. How odd, to hear a ripple of thunder during this season.

Pushing the thick waves of her hair to one side, she almost chuckled. Almost. Here she was, trying to comprehend the workings of the heavens when she could not understand her own mind. She sobered.

There was only one thing she knew — she dared not go through with this betrothal. She would dig in her heels and refuse to marry. Marriage was a foreign land with strange customs, strange people — men — and duty or not, she did not want to go there in spite of the tingling in her toes when she thought of Amram's deep-set eyes.

Jostled from her thoughts by a ewe's nervous stomping, Jochebed listened to Lili's voice soothe the bleating sheep. If the way she coddled sheep was any indication, Lili would someday be a tenderhearted mother.

Lili liked scratching the sheep's chins, running her hands over their thick wool, and searching their pointy hooves for rocks or thorns. The sheep responded to her crooning calls, stretching their necks and crowding around her. Lili talked with the flock and the dog as if she expected them to answer her.

"Gray Ear, no! You did your job and brought them here, so stop nipping at Curly. Jochebed, call that dog away! Little Bit, did you miss me? Come here to Mommy, and let me see your eyes. They're all better now, aren't they?"

"Gray Ear, here." Jochebed snapped her fingers, and the dog wagged its way to her side. Reaching down, she ruffled its long fur.

Jochebed let Lili's voice slip in with the mosquitoes' drone, both so familiar she could nod without listening, swat without remembering that she'd moved her hand. Their combined rhythm allowed her an escape to her own reverie. Sultry breezes knotted her hair into tangled webs as she glared at the smoldering sun. She could list her reasons to avoid betrothal from now until forever. She already knew Amram did not want to marry her, so why should he? Stupid kinsmen. Mentally, she jerked the rope tethering her to the future. There must be a way to escape, to loosen the tightening knot.

Feeling her chin beginning to quiver and scalding tears swelling against her eyelids, Jochebed squinted into the sun, furious at herself for crying. Maybe the others would think its brightness reddened her eyes. More likely they would think she did not have the good sense to avoid looking at the blinding desert light. They were right. She did not have good sense, especially not in the chaos of becoming a woman and sorting out her thoughts of him.

Amram. There was something about him. ... Was it the blackness of his eyes or the terseness of his hands as he gestured ... large hands. With his gentle words and his muscled, stonecutter arms, he was frightening. Images of him quickened her heart, warning her to run — but from him or to him?

As she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, her thoughts darted and swirled — flurries of gnats uncertain of safe landing. Jochebed waved the air to scatter her pesky thoughts. There! She would forget the possibility of a betrothal with Amram existed. Somehow she would let their kinsmen know he was free to choose Lili. What a fool she'd been to dream about Amram wanting her.

Jochebed straightened her shoulders and flicked away a loose strand of hair. Someday, she vowed, he would wish he had wanted her! He would meet her strolling along the river and their eyes would meet. He would have heard of her wisdom and discernment. She would have matured into a great beauty. He would think, but never say, that if he only had another chance, he would make her his and his alone. She would look down her thin nose, ignore his wistful eyes, tilt her head, and glide forward.

If only.

The swarm of stinging thoughts returned, bearing rumors.

Was it true Death stalked those he loved? Old Sarah said that when his father was sent to the mines and his mother died, he had left this village and moved to the village of his wife's family. Now they were dead, his wife and son drowned two floods ago. Did the old gossiper speak truth when she said Amram wanted to return to his wife's village, or would he decide to live here? Would the shadows of his dead wife and son fill their house?

So many questions, and yet none of them was the one beating against her heart. What chance was there Amram would ever willingly seek her as his wife and call himself a lucky man?

None.

Her lips thinned. He would choose Lili.

Lili, with her new curves and a string of admirers.

Lili, who had long lashes and little white teeth.

Lili, with her bubbly laugh and easy smile.

Sometimes she hated Lili.

"Jochebed?"

She started and covered her mouth, whirling to face Lili. Had she spoken aloud?

"Did you hear what Deborah said? Tell her, Deborah."

"She should have listened the first time."

Jochebed looked away. If Deborah ever said anything of value, she might listen.

Lifting the clay jar, she skirted Lili and Deborah, turned her back, and began to work the rich milk from the nearest ewe. Guessing it would annoy Deborah, she began to hum, although the skin between her shoulders twitched as she sensed the girl's hatred.

As children, Deborah had shoved her into the mud, trampling on her fingers and laughing at Jochebed's clumsiness in struggling to stand. The physical mistreatment, rare now, had been replaced with whispered taunts of her papa's death and his betrayal of the Hebrew people.

Egypt lover.

Traitor.

Why had Papa left? Something must be wrong with her and Mama. They had not been enough for him to stay with them. Humiliation stung the deep, raw places where sadness still clawed through her insides.

Deborah's slurs shoved her into a place of aloneness. Jochebed had learned to retreat in the face of ridicule because there was no one to back her up. No one like the other girls had — a father or brother or uncle who cared.

Deborah's angry scorn puzzled her. Only Jochebed and her mama had been shamed by Papa's death, not Deborah's family, but Deborah slung rage at her as easily as rocks, insults the size of boulders, killing words.

"Amram told the elders he will soon announce his betrothal." Lili repeated Deborah's words, giggling and flaunting her perfect teeth. "Have you noticed how wide his shoulders are? He doesn't hunch over, and he holds his head up, too."

Jochebed groaned.

Lili's love interests changed direction like a little green frog escaping a snake.

This morning Lili had confided, "Joshua said my eyes are the prettiest he's ever seen, but Caleb is so sweet. I wish he were taller and didn't waddle like a duck. He'd be perfect. I just can't decide."

But last week it was, "Have you heard Adam sing? Joseph can't sing, but he always makes me laugh and my brother Samuel said he likes me. Samuel is so old, he would know, don't you think? Do you think Joseph's lips look like a bird's beak?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Slender Reeds by Texie Susan Gregory. Copyright © 2016 Texie Susan Gregory. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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.

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Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope (FREE PREVIEW) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
conni7 More than 1 year ago
Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope, a debut novel by Texie Susan Gregory, is a powerful, fictional account about the mother of Moses. With wonderfully detailed descriptions of people, events, and settings, Texie skillfully led me into a life unlike ours today. The story begins the year before Jochebed’s marriage. Her insecurities are so finely detailed that I couldn’t help but empathize with this young woman who would be facing the prospect of an arranged marriage with someone she did not know. The book flows seamlessly through her life until the birth of her third child, Moses and ends on the day she has to relinquish her three-year-old son. I loved how the author built much of the book around how Jochebed’s mother instilled such a strong belief in God in her daughter teaching her to trust that God can work things out to your good--even things that seem to be especially difficult. Throughout the book, that teaching was something she held on to and left me with the feeling it was the one thing we can all hold onto in this life. This new author is definitely one who will be making a name for herself. I highly recommend this well written book.
onemused More than 1 year ago
I had mixed feelings about "Slender Reeds" which primarily focuses on Moses's mother, Jochebed. We are first introduced to Jochebed or Bedde when she has reached womanhood (e.g. menstruation) and since this marks her as ready for marriage, she learns of her betrothal. She is very young here and influenced by her own mother, who is more of what we would expect, calm, faithful, etc. The book ends with Moses's birth and his deliverance to the Pharaoh's daughter (I don't consider this a spoiler as it is where the biblical story begins). I found it a little dry at times and was not sure I really felt like I got to know Jochebed and/or Shiphrah in this book- they felt very disconnected from the writing, which often seemed very matter-of-fact. That being said, they were not perfect people and this was the more realistic pieces of the book, which portrayed them as human. Overall, I found it to be OK, not sure I'd want to read more (e.g. not 'Red Tent' level), but it was still interesting. Of note, it also contains book club/church group questions at the back to start a discussion. Please note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
Anne_Baxter_Campbell More than 1 year ago
I've know Texie Susan Gregory for a few years now--I met her at the Write to Inspire Conference in Sacramento, CA, and I was privileged to read a little of what she'd written for a contest. I knew this lady was going to become a popular writer one day. This is her first release, and it's everything I thought her writing would be! Jochebed is one of the women in the Bible who's just barely mentioned. One of the Egyptian slaves who are required to produce baskets and bricks or be beaten, Jochebed has received her share of stripes when she didn't work fast enough to please their Egyptian overseers. Her mother has tried to instill a love of God and of the stories of their ancestors, but Jochebed doesn't think God is all that great. They're still slaves with no hope in sight. She's betrothed and then married to a man who's still in love with his first wife, a woman who was killed along with their child in the spring floods. She has a daughter, Miriam, and then a son, Aaron. Another child is stillborn.. Still her husband does not love her. Will one more child make a difference if it's another son? And will another son survive anyway, now that the Pharaoh has decreed all male babies will be killed? The mother of Moses has never been more real. Give this new author a try. You won't be disappointed, promise! I received this book free from the publisher in return for an honest review.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic story of Moses's Mother and her People. It told about Jochebed and about how her people were slaves and how they had to kill their children and she saved hers. It also goes into a lot of detail and I do mean a lot about the pagan gods - that is the one thing I think that the author did not need to go into so much detail about - you kind of get off track and a little lost in the weeds about - but the rest of the story is amazing - it rips your heart out - as a mother - it just totally rips your heart out. Can you imagine having a baby and someone coming to your house and saying ok - the President has made an amendment you are to kill your child today by law. I would be like - over my dead body - and I know that would be that - over my dead body - I guess it would be just that - over my dead body...anyway - this is one great story of strength and courage and love. You are brought into Jochebed''s life and you are allowed to glimpse into it for a short period of time and you are Blessed to have been there and you are honored to have been able to do just that. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
momofhannah More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book! I have read and heard the Bible story of Moses my entire life...but Texie Susan Gregory's fictional story of the background of Moses' family before he was placed in the basket was truly amazing! The author made you feel like you were there with each character. This is the first book I've read by this author but I hope she writes many more fictional stories to give us more insight to well known Bible stories. I can't wait for her next one!! (I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.)
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read from this author. I hope it won't be the last. It was really good. I have to admit, that I have not read any Biblical fiction until reading this. Wasn't sure how it would flow, but really enjoyed it. I have read the Bible many times over but never really thought about how some of the Biblical characters actually felt and what they experienced on a more personal level. This book, although a work of fiction, appears to be very well researched as far as customs, facts and actual events. The story unfolded in such a way that you really felt like you knew them and their thoughts, fears and concerns were brought across very well. As Jochebed begins to fear for the life of her son and takes actions to save him, you can feel her feelings and understand that she was a mother then with the same emotions as a mother in today's world. This book brought across many Christian attributes of trust, both in God and your fellow man, love of family and friends and of staying true to God, regardless of the trials and persecutions that exist in life. I highly recommend this book. It gave great insights to a time period we may not have had a way to understand otherwise. Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book from the publisher, Barbour books, for my honest review which I have given.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
The Israelites have been in captivity for close to 400 years in Egypt. They are wondering when God is going to deliver them as He promised. Reading this novel brought these particular people from the Bible to life for me. I even went back and read parts of Exodus. The story mainly centers around three friends, Jochebed (Moses' mother), Lili and Shiphrah (half Hebrew, half Egyptian) who practices midwifery. Shiphrah is rejected by many because she's biracial. Her father beat her, her mother left her and she was found by Jochebed's mother after she ran away after a severe beating. Over several year's time they go through much turmoil of friendship, then jealousy, anger then pull together again. Like three reeds, woven together, made stronger. I was intrigued with the way they lived, the dirt floors, insects, crocodiles, beating their clothes in the muddy Nile and laying them on rocks to dry, the market place and the beatings they got from the Egyptians if their quota wasn't made for the week. The women wove baskets and mats from the reeds found near the water while the men worked long hours building Pharaohs monuments. The descriptions by the author made it all seem so real, like I was really there. I truly enjoy these depictions of life and the real people from Biblical times. I received this book for free and was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an easy read that captured my interest with its focus on motherhood, the bonds of friendship, and of course faith. Jochebed's transition from placing her hope in her mother's God to embracing God for herself is realistically filled with doubts and questions. Despite the foreign culture and ancient practices, modern-day readers will find this story relatable and see their own struggles reflected in the relationships of these characters from long ago. I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
BrendaLee More than 1 year ago
I love Biblical Fiction when it follows the Bible. I have read Moses' story many times in the Bible but once I read a great story about a Biblical character I will never look upon that story the same again. Jochebed lived as an Egyptian slave and of course it was a hard time for all Egyptians. She had doubts like all Christians do at times but she had enough faith to go against Pharaoh. This book captured my heart from cover (which is beautiful) to cover. Very emotional and descriptive of Moses' Mothers life, and also the people that were in her life, from Jochebed's Mother to other characters that affected her and her beliefs. We need to remember that "While it is still dark, God is at work". Never give up our faith because God is faithful and at work on our situations even when we think we are sinking. Sometimes when we read the Bible we forget that these are real people and not just fairy tales. Jochebed's Hope brings to life the characters that we thought we knew so much about. Give this author a chance if you like Biblical stories brought to life. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by author Texie Susan Gregory and it will not the last. Slender Reeds is one of the best novelizations of the story of Jochabed and her children, Miriam, Aaron and Moses I have read. Through the trials of the times, will Jochabed, a Hebrew slave, remember God is with her, for her, never to leave her? Will she trust Him despite it all? I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Books in exchange for my honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading about Jochebed's story. I have never seen a book that tells how Moses mother grew up. This was well written and it made me laugh and cry. People of that time period really had a hard time. I really liked Jochebed and Shiphrah. They each had many trials to work through in their lives. I received a copy of this book from Barbour for a fair and honest opinion.
rhondaryser More than 1 year ago
What must it have been like to be alive when Moses was born? The author opens up your mind to events that could have happened. There are many situations brought up in this book surrounding the Israelites and their time in Egypt that I had not thought of before. It is like being there in history and brings to life what the family of Moses might have lived through. Although, the story started off a little slow, I found myself caught up in the lives of the characters and wanting to see what they would do and how they would handle the changes that were to come. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
SusanB143 More than 1 year ago
Texie Susan Gregory’s first novel, “Slender Reeds, Jochebed’s Hope”, is a hit! She focuses on the mother of one of the most famous Old Testament characters – Moses’ mother, Jochebed. Mrs. Gregory brings the seemingly insignificant characters of the redemption story of the Hebrew slaves to life. Throughout the book, we are captured by the life of young Jochebed, as she enters the first blush of womanhood, to her marriage, the births of her children, how she hides the final baby boy to save him from the Egyptian soldiers, until Jochebed must finally put all her trust in God and make the ultimate sacrifice to save this child she loves. Mrs. Gregory makes us feel as though we are a part of this Hebrew village, living under the harsh reality of the Egyptian rulers. I highly recommend this book to readers and am looking forward to other books in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Thimbleluvr More than 1 year ago
This is a great snapshot into the life of Jochebed as she decides to give up the baby Moses for his safety and survival. Jochebed (or Bedde) is the central figure, but the plot also revolves around her best friends, Lili and Shiprah. The three girls grew up together and were so inseparable that they were often called LiliBeddeShiprah. This touching story explores each of their roles and their reasoning and motivation for their actions. We also meet Rameses, Nefertari, and their daughter. While they are often painted as the "bad guy" we see that they are simply trying their best to preserve their hopes and dreams along with everyone else. Without a clear idea of what actions are right and which are wrong, it seems as if characters are operating in the dark while trusting God's promise that He will work all things for good. While a fictional account, I found a greater appreciation and understanding for the Moses story in the Bible and the conditions for the children of Israel during their captivity. I was provided with a copy of this book by Barbour Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Jochebed, mother of Moses, who was chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. It is also about her beloved mother, Elisheba and an Egyptian/Israelite midwife by the name of Shiprah. These are fictional characters that help us understand the times of Moses' birth. Gregory describing these times in detail gives us insight into what God's people had to endure during slavery. The ultimate agony was when the Ramses declared all male babies born to the slaves must be killed as soon as delivered. This is where Shiprah comes into play. She was taken in by Elisheba, when she was found half dead hiding along the river. She was as a sister to Jochebed and refused to kill the babies. Thus they hid Moses in the rushes is a basket Jochebed had woven and pitched it so it was water resistant. Ramses daughter found him and as she was barren, took him as her own and brought him up in the palace.......... I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbour Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book if I would read and honestly review it. This book is the fictionalized story of Moses' mother, Jochabed, from early teens through Moses' infancy. I haven’t read historical fiction set in this period in a long time. Ms. Gregory paints very vivid pictures with convincing details. I’m no expert, but it certainly sounds like she does her homework! She gets inside the heads of her characters, too--chiefly Jochabed and her best friends Lili and Shiphrah--as they live through the joy and pain of the extreme circumstances of slavery, marriage, childbearing, loss of loved ones. I enjoyed it!
AFarley21 More than 1 year ago
So often the Bible stories become commonplace and you forget that these were real men and women. Slender Reeds Jochened's Hope brings those characters alive. We see what it would be like to live as a slave to the Egyptians. We see how family is intertwined and how God is faithful even when things seem to be bleak. Ramses demands the baby boys be killed and when his orders are not carried out, he sends guards to ensure the baby boys are killed. Ramses trys to eliminate the Hebrews, but his own daughter is used by God to save Moses. The book does skip around from one character to another and can be hard to follow in the beginning. Despite that I would highly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
ConR More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author. When I finished, I went to the Bible and reread the story of Moses' birth for myself. The author has breathed imagination and research into the biblical account of that time and brought it all to life for me. Moses' mother was born in the midst of the darkest time for God's people, that seemingly unending enslavement and bondage. Jochebed had never known anything else in her life other than the wretched poverty and heavy demands of Pharoah. Her mother's stories of her people's history with The Only God, and her hope of His release for them all, were the only bright spots in that time. Gregory succeeded in catching my imagination, so that I could really come to grips with the despair of that life, yet the hope that the child Jochebed felt of being saved by God and therefore trusting The Unseen One. I especially liked this quote from the book, which is part of one of her mother's stories of Abram, "But He also promised, "They will come out with great possessions." We will not suffer forever; our slavery will end. He promised we will leave this place. You can ask 'when' and 'why' until you are as green as a little Nile frog, but it is your job to obey and trust His promises..." I felt the encouragement and hope in that statement. Despite our questions, we must trust. I was given this book by Barbour Publishers in exchange for my honest thoughts on the book.
Erin2435 More than 1 year ago
I feel you are a fan of Christian historical fiction, I would highly recommend this book. It is a great way to learn and be entertained at the same time. It hasn't interesting characters and an interesting storyline. If you are in the market for a great weekend book this is a great choice. I received a complimentary copy of this from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
ReginaFujitani More than 1 year ago
WOW! WOW! WOW! Trixie Susan is a debut author to Biblical fiction, you'll want to keep an eye on this author! Slender Reeds captured my heart from the first page to the very end. If you're the emotional type, you better have tissues handy! Jochebeds story almost resembles my story in so many ways, especially to the point of where I lost my daughter, it is very painful! This entire story is woven so well that you'll be captured by the scene, you'll feel like you're there experiencing the hardships, the beatings, the heat, the danger. The wives and mother's languishing over losing their sons because of a cruel pharaoh. When I finished this story I didn't want it to end but all stories have to end. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Shiloh Run Press for my honest and unbiased opinion of this book
MrsFordy More than 1 year ago
I was really excited, though a little apprehensive about reading this book. The story of Passover is one I am very familiar with, and I thought the idea of telling it through the eyes of Jochebed, Moses' mother, could be really interesting. The first few pages describing Jochebed's agony in having to hide her precious baby, the very REAL and palpable pain and anguish of Pharoah's decree is something we typically gloss over when reading about the Exodus. I was sucked in after the first few pages. Unfortunately, once the book flashbacked to Jochebed's earlier years, I was totally lost. I appreciate the attention to detail and descriptiveness to the environment, conditions, and customs, but it seemed like every potential hardship was magnified and harped on to the point where seemingly nothing in Jochebed's life wasn't filled with some sort of drama or suffering. Even knowing the story as well as I do, the names, places, etc became very confusing since they didn't line up with the accounts of Moses/Pharoah that I've known since childhood. I appreciate the idea of a backstory for Shifrah and Puah (the midwives responsible for saving many Jewish babies after Pharaoh's horrible decree), but I just could NOT follow what was going on, how or why anything was happening. In fairness, I think I also had expectations that the book would focus primarily on Jochebed's struggle in keeping Moses safe, in the heartbreaking decision to put him in the basket, the joy of being PAID to keep her son alive as his wetnurse. I hoped the novel might focus on Jochebed seeing her son grow up in the palace, sticking more to the Bible, and allowing us to experience the first few chapters of Exodus through eyes of Moses' mother. I just found the fictionalized account of Jochebed too overwrought to enjoy, and the narration so crammed with details and names, that it became pretty impossible to follow. I received this book for free from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Sbargo More than 1 year ago
Slender Reeds is a story about the mother of Moses, Jochebed, and what her life may have been like. Enduring some very difficult times, Jochebed's faith continues to grow, and she soon learns to rely only on God. Jochebed's journey travels through persecution, love, and the fear of losing her baby boy. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who enjoy Biblical fiction. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review."
thall5 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book was coming out, I was really anxious to read it as I have been teaching my kids about Moses this quarter in Sunday School. I thought I would really enjoy reading this to learn more about Moses's mother, his birth, and the events that followed thereafter. While this book did finally get to that point, it was well past the half way point in the book. If you enjoy history, specifically biblical history, you will enjoy reading this book. I, however; felt like I do when I get caught up in the family lineage parts in the Bible. The story also moved back and forth from the different people making it hard at times to even keep up with who was who and what was really going on. The author did do an excellent job of describing the treatment of the Hebrews by the Egyptians as well as laying out a very detailed story. I just felt like it was too lengthy and hard to keep up with to keep my attention. I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to give a review. These are my own thoughts after reading this book.
thall5 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book was coming out, I was really anxious to read it as I have been teaching my kids about Moses this quarter in Sunday School. I thought I would really enjoy reading this to learn more about Moses's mother, his birth, and the events that followed thereafter. While this book did finally get to that point, it was well past the half way point in the book. If you enjoy history, specifically biblical history, you will enjoy reading this book. I, however; felt like I do when I get caught up in the family lineage parts in the Bible. The story also moved back and forth from the different people making it hard at times to even keep up with who was who and what was really going on. The author did do an excellent job of describing the treatment of the Hebrews by the Egyptians as well as laying out a very detailed story. I just felt like it was too lengthy and hard to keep up with to keep my attention. I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to give a review. These are my own thoughts after reading this book.
thall5 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book was coming out, I was really anxious to read it as I have been teaching my kids about Moses this quarter in Sunday School. I thought I would really enjoy reading this to learn more about Moses's mother, his birth, and the events that followed thereafter. While this book did finally get to that point, it was well past the half way point in the book. If you enjoy history, specifically biblical history, you will enjoy reading this book. I, however; felt like I do when I get caught up in the family lineage parts in the Bible. The story also moved back and forth from the different people making it hard at times to even keep up with who was who and what was really going on. The author did do an excellent job of describing the treatment of the Hebrews by the Egyptians as well as laying out a very detailed story. I just felt like it was too lengthy and hard to keep up with to keep my attention. I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to give a review. These are my own thoughts after reading this book.