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Harvest Of Rubies (Harvest Of Rubies, #1)
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Harvest Of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies #1)

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,301 ratings  ·  204 reviews
The prophet Nehemiah has a cousin who can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. This cousin is catapulted into the center of the Persian court -- working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and completing high-level tasks as a scribe for the queen. Not bad, for a woman living in a man's wo ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published 2012 by River North
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Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
Tessa Afshar has written two outstanding novels: Pearl in the Sand, and now Harvest of Rubies. Both novels are historical Christian fiction, and are more biblical than other Christian fiction, which I really like. Pearl in the Sand tells the story of Rahab, a Caanonite harlot who falls in love with one of Israel's leaders. I read Pearl in the Sand back in 2010 and still think back on how good that book is! In fact, I gave it as a gift to my mom. Then, this Mother's Day, I gave Harvest of Rubies ...more
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

Ever since reading Tessa Afshar’s beautiful debut, Pearl in the Sand, I have been looking forward to her next book. Harvest of Rubies will easily capture the reader’s attention as they follow the fictitious life of Sarah—a Jewish girl who becomes chief scribe to the Queen of Persia. While I personally enjoyed her debut novel more, Afshar has brought a fresh, unique, and new book into the biblical fiction category!

It was hard for me to personally relate
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Some of the most amazing things I've discovered through Christian Historical Fiction, is the author's talent to weave a story about someone from the Bible in a whole new way through their fictional novel. In fact, sometimes it's so well written it sounds as if we were a part of that story and the character is someone we got to know through their words.

That is just what you, as a reader, will find when you open the cover of Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar. Here you are immediately drawn back in
I loved this book! In fact, I think Tessa Afshar is quickly becoming a new favorite author for me. I love her wit and sense of humor. The characters nearly leap off the page! The settings, emotions, scenery is real and palpable. So why did I only give it 4 stars? Because I couldn't bring myself to give it 5 stars since it didn't have a strong biblical storyline. The book refers to Nehemiah (the biblical prophet) and is based on the historical context of Israel's captivity in Persia; however, the ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Set in 457 BC in the Kingdom of Persia, Harvest of Rubies follows the story of the prophet Nehemiah's cousin, Sarah. Seeking to win the attention and approval of her father, Sarah teaches herself to read and write, a normally unacceptable occupation for a woman in her society. When cousin Nehemiah learns of this, he encourages Sarah in her pursuits, and soon she has learned multiple languages and becomes a gifted scribe. Her gifts lead her to the Persian court, where she becomes the queen's favo ...more
When I saw this offered for just 99 cents for the ebook, I had to grab it, and I'm so glad that I did! I enjoyed Afshar's first novel Pearl in the Sand, but, in my opinion, Harvest of Rubies is even more well-written.

Afshar did a superb job with the first person narration, which is my favorite narration style. I really felt like I got to know Sarah. She was a great character, and her developments over the course of the story came across as very realistic. There were a couple of times that she ca
This is not my genre. At all. I expected to "get through" this book, while virtuously keeping an eye out for any redeeming qualities. Go me, expanding my horizons and all that, be it ever so grudgingly.

I loved it. I devoured this book in the course of one day (well ok, half of it was during a long, sleepless night last night, but still technically one day). The heroine Sarah was charming to the reader, awkward to those around her, and very believable. She makes a lot of the dumb mistakes I do a
I enjoyed this book very much!
It’s set in an unusual time: Persian Empire. It was an interesting and very enjoyable read, with a nice set of characters.
I enjoyed Sarah, and her life choices, even if I would have preferred to have less religious issues in the book. I understand that this is Christian fiction, so that part was necessary, but I liked better the parts where religion was not so strong an issue.
I liked the character of Darius too. He was very much what I would have expected from a Pe
This book started out somewhat slow. I didn't understand why Sarah felt so unloved throughout the book, and how far people had to go to show her that they cared. Also, I was bored with the work that she did under Queen Demaspia. It didn't intrigue me at all. I would say that I finally started getting into the book about a third of the way through when she went to live at her husbands estate.

I loved Bardia, Shushan, and Pari. The three main servants in the story, they all seemed like realistic f
Jen Cragen (MKmaineknitter)
Tessa Afshar wrote Harvest of Rubies, A Novel in 2012. This new book tells one of the oldest stories, that of a tossed together couple afraid to trust each other and hiding their own hurts behind their idols, whether scrolls and parchments or power and social status. Sarah, cousin to the Biblical Nehemiah, is nominated to be the queen's head scribe. Darius must marry a suitable Jewish woman, well they would say girl. The two are a match made in Heaven, they just don't realize it yet.

What I liked
Clockstein Lockstein
A Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar is the first in a series of biblical fiction in the time of the Jewish exile in Babylon. Sarah discovered a way into her scribe father's heart by teaching herself to read Persian, and the quicker she learned, the more praise and attention she earned from him. When her cousin, Nehemiah, cup-bearer to the king, helps her earn a place at Persepolis, the palace, as the queen's scribe, she is at first terrified of such a rapid ascent. She loves her position in the ...more
Rachel Leightman
What an incredible book! I tend to devour books; I can go through one or two a day. Rarely have I read a book that I immediately wanted to reread. This book was full of spiritual insight, had plenty of historical detail, and was also really excellent fiction. I don't find that combination often! It really helped change my perspective on a few things and has actually helped both my marriage and my relationship with God. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed the book!!

The time period was fascinating; I haven'
Eric Wright
I am not a romance reader, but Tessa Afshar quickly captured my interest with this well written, fast-paced historical novel. The story is told from the perspective of Sarah, a young woman who struggles with a very poor self-image due to a distant father and a dead mother. She teaches herself languages including the complicated Persian language in hopes of winning her father's affection and acceptance. It is rather scandalous at that time, circa 400 BC in Persia, for a woman to not only read but ...more
This was such a spiritually moving book. Plus, I enjoyed the deep love story developing between the husband and wife. In fact, I enjoyed everything about this story. I loved how the author took what is common to mankind and made it relevant to a spiritual journey today. It really made me think about things in my life. Plus, it was very well written and I became lost in the story. Since a lot of books seem to lose my attention lately, this story was especially delightful because I wanted to keep ...more
Lori Henrich
Sarah has never felt that she was worth very much. After her mother died, her father had a hard time knowing what to do with his daughter. Sarah thought it was because she was a disappointment to him. She threw herself into trying to find some common ground that would make her father take notice. Her fathers love of the written word became an obsession to Sarah. Her talent vaulted her into the service of the royal family as head scribe to the queen. She performed her job so well that as a result ...more
Charity U
I was so excited when this book arrived in my mailbox! I started reading it almost right away...and finished the book before bed the day I received it. Shows how much I enjoyed it! There was some heart-melting romance…heart-pounding adventure…and heart-moving faith. That pretty much sums it up! The adventures were exciting! The descriptions of what Sarah wore and ate were amazing. Getting to meet Nehemiah, from the Bible, was really cool. It was intriguing to see into the lives of Persian royalt ...more
Okay, I have to tell you, it is not often I get so engrossed in a book the way I did with this one! I read it all in one day and it was just amazing! Tessa is quite an author that knows how to pull you into the story. I was also blessed by some of the things she brings out in this fictional account. Not only is this an enjoyable read but it really makes you think about things. There are so many lessons hidden in this book. The title is just an example of something that we learn. It is so amazing ...more
Each book gets better than the last. I loved the character in this and the change she goes through.
The Synopsis:

“The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin has been catapulted into the center of the Persian court–working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and becoming the queen’s favorite scribe.

Not bad. for a woman living in a man’s world. But a devastating past has left Sarah believing that God doesn’t love her and her achievements are the measure of her worth–a measure she can never quite live up to.

Darius Pasargadae is accustomed to having his way. A wealthy and admired aristocrat, the last thi
Nadine Keels
It's almost unfair when a protagonist's journey resonates so clearly with my own experience, as I suspect it moves me even further away from objectivity in what is already a subjective exercise: writing book reviews. Still, I'm pretty certain Harvest of Rubies is, hands-down, an amazing historical fiction novel.

Sarah is an intriguing, witty, and compassionate heroine, a scribe in the Persian court, brilliant at her culturally masculine job, a girly-girl by no means, living her life in fear, stru
I liked this book a lot. It was a little preachy though and I found some of it hard to get through. Other than that, though, I thought it was well-written, sweet, and intriguing. Can't wait until the second one comes out.
This novel will completely captivate you and compel you to speed through it - I did today! Filled with well developed and witty characters, that seem quiet real and are endearing, you are sure to not only delight in their character development but also anxiously long to see how their circumstances will work out. Do they learn and grow, do they trust and forgive, or will they let their own insecurities and pride be their downfall?

Afshar has filled this novel with wonderful "rubies" of truth, less
Sarah the niece Nehemiah with all of her talents suffered from the knowledge that she wasn’t loved by her father the failure of God not responding to her pray when her mother was sick caused her to depend on herself and made her immerse herself in her love of reading and investigating in a time when it was not a woman’s job. Her uncle Nehemiah recommended her to the Queen of Persia and when she unraveled a mystery which could have caused a divide between the queen and her mother in law, the stor ...more
Cynthia Marcano
What I Loved...
Everything...that is bold I know. However at this moment I can't think of anything I didn't like! The writing is wonderful. The characters draw you in. I felt like I knew them personally. I got lost in the story. It's everything a Christian Fiction should be. I found myself referencing the bible and seeing it in a different way, almost like I was looking for the buried treasure in the bible. For me, she didn't replace the biblical account, she enhanced it.

The cover is absolutely s
When I was halfway through this book I asked, What is the point of this story? As biblical fiction I was expecting more and since Nehemiah was only a secondary character I was disappointed. Sarah, a cousin of his, is uncouth and lacks womanly graces and didn't have much going for her except that she is extremely intelligent. She ends up becoming a scribe for the queen who takes a shine towards her. The queen arranges her marriage to a relative of the king, a man named Darius. Neither of them wan ...more
For the first time in my 20+ years of reading a book did what I thought was the impossible. I have gone through the gamut of emotions with the characters in literally hundreds of novels. Some of them tugged at the heartstrings and some were sad, but until Harvest Of Rubies not one book had brought me to tears. In those pages Nehemiah tells Sarah that her worth isn't defined by her abilities and that she has been hiding behind the gifts God gave her. Those words struck like one of Darius's arrows ...more
Hallie Szott
Tessa Afshar’s Harvest of Rubies is another one of those books that sat on my “To Read” list for ages, and now, I cannot imagine why I waited so long to pick it up. Within the context of life in the Persian Empire, Afshar takes her readers on a page-turning journey with Sarah, as she attempts to understand from where her worth truly comes. Most of the night I spent debating whether to go to sleep or keep reading – in most cases, reading won. Afshar’s beautiful writing and storytelling make the b ...more
Wonderful historical novel!
Harvest of Rubies has quickly become a favorite of mine. I'm writing this review after reading it for the second time, and I believe I may have enjoyed it more this time than the previous, if that's even possible!
This book is written in the first person, from the point of view of Sarah, the main character. I loved the voice Ms. Afshar gives her. She speaks occasionally as though remembering a past event, or as if she is telling this story to someone. She is sarcastic,
I really enjoyed this book. It took a while to get into, as the first part of the book spent a lot of time talking about Sarah and the Persian empire. It was necessary so we would know that women in Persia could learn, the differently of writing at that time, and other historical aspects that were important to the story. At about page 80 I was finally starting to enjoy the story and the characters. Sarah was isolated when she acted as scribe for the queen. Then because of her naivety she humilia ...more
Sarah finds purpose and fulfillment as scribe to the Queen of Persia. Pleased with Sarah's work, the Queen arranges Sarah's marriage to Darius Pasargadea, a respected and handsome aristocrat, as a kindness. However, after a disasterous wedding celebration, Sarah finds that marriage has stripped her of position, security and dignity. Locked in a miserable marriage and missing her old life, Sarah must open herself to new ideas and people, including her distant husband.

With Harvest of Rubies, Tess
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TESSA AFSHAR was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowsh ...more
More about Tessa Afshar...

Other Books in the Series

Harvest of Rubies (2 books)
  • Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies, #2)
Pearl in the Sand Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies, #2) In the Field of Grace Pearl in the Sand, Sampler Harvest of Rubies, Sampler

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“Some of these walls had been of my own making; my rebellion, my resistance; my arrogance, my need for control. Some had been built around me by the misfortunes of life; my loneliness; my orphaned heart; my fear of rejection. I had kept God at bay, and cheated myself of the warmth of His mercy.” 10 likes
“This is a door that the Lord holds open for you. Walk through it. He who has called shall also equip. Everything you lack shall be provided.” 2 likes
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