This third novel in the Wives of the Patriarchs series takes the reader, along with Jacob and Rachel, on quite an emotional and surprising journey. The beloved Bible story of a wandering shepherd and his true love has always captured me, but I had never really stopped and put myself in their shoes before. This story changed that. Written in a beautifully honest and intimate way, Rachel paints a fascinating picture of the hearts and personalities of the people behind the names.
From the moment you see Rachel first meet Jacob at the well, you’re rooting for these two soul mates to get together. Vows are made, time is invested, and many years spent when a sad deception threatens to destroy their dreams and brings great consequences to their lives. The unexpected introduces Leah, Rachel’s sister, to the story and with it many complications.
I will admit that this was my first time reading Biblical fiction, so it took me a little while to get used to the setting and the already-familiar parts of the story and characters. At times, simply due to the truth of the text, portions seemed a little repetitious. There are a lot of babies born in this story! 😉 The power struggle and heartache between the sisters forced to share their husband wearied me along with them at times, but the author dutifully crafted in-depth layers to each of the characters. There are still plenty of surprises along the way – even if you’re familiar with the Biblical account.
My heart broke for Jacob, Rachel, and Leah at many moments throughout this book, but I celebrated with them in their victories too. God’s grace and strength is quite evident and unwavering on every page. Rachel offers a reminder for all of us to look at the difficulties in our lives through the perspective that God’s sovereign hand rules all for His glory.
After reading Rachel, I was very eager to go back and read their story in the Old Testament again. Jacob’s wrestling with God. His wives. His children. Their prayers and fears. The journey back to his homeland. A beautiful story, indeed. This time, I feel like I know them a little better.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:Beautiful Rachel wants nothing more than for her older half sister Leah to wed and move out of their household. Maybe then she would not feel so scrutinized, so managed, so judged. Plain Leah wishes her father Laban would find a good man for her, someone who would love her alone and make her his only bride. Unbeknownst to either of them, Jacob is making his way to their home, trying to escape a past laced with deceit and find the future God has promised him. But the past comes back to haunt Jacob when he finds himself on the receiving end of treachery and the victim of a cruel bait and switch. The man who wanted only one woman will end up with sisters who have never gotten along and now must spend the rest of their lives sharing a husband. In the power struggles that follow, only one woman will triumph . . . or will she?
Be sure to stop back in on Tuesday as I sit down and have a chat with Jill Eileen Smith. You won’t want to miss the GIVEAWAY of fun prizes she has planned!