Rachel & Leah (Women of Genesis, #3)
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Rachel & Leah (Women of Genesis #3)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  4,941 ratings  ·  490 reviews
Leah was so young when her sister Rachel was born that she could not remember a time when Rachel was not the darling of the family- pretty, clever, and cute, whereas Leah plugged along being obedient, hard-working, and responsible. Then one day a good-looking marriageable kinsman named Jacob showed up, looking for a haven from his brother's rage, and Leah fell in love at o...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Forge Books (first published July 30th 2004)
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Emily
I really liked this book, but I couldn't give it a four because it made me angry. The resolution of how Rachel and Leah both became wives of Jacob was upsetting, and the way Jacob is a know-it-all perfect human being until, arguably, the end, was infuriating. It's hard to tell if this or The Red Tent was more accurate. I know many people's dislike of RT - too fairy tale, too perfect, etc. I think if you're interested in the women of Genesis in a historical fiction context, both books are worth y...more
LemonLinda
I really loved this book. I stumbled across it because of the author, Orson Scott Card. I had read Ender's Game and thought it to be so cleverly written so I was interested in the three books in this series, Women of Genesis. This is the first that I read in the series even though it is the third and I certainly will be reading the other two.



Card gives Rachel, Leah as well as their handmaidens, Bilhah and Zilpah, such distinctive personalities. And he invents such a clear and logical reason for...more
Ang
Out of the three stories Card wrote about the biblical women I didn't like this one the most. Two sisters pitted against each other in a fight over love, children and recognition is a real theme but one I do not wish to visit.
Jennifer
This was a book club choice by Donna Brown. I haven't ready any Old Testament fiction books before, so I was pretty excited to check it out. Orson Scott Card is a pretty good writer. Sometimes things move slowly in the book - but this was set in the deserts afterall and I can't imagine that anything moves too quickly in sheep herds anyhow. It was a good story... but has definitely piqued my interest to find out what the scriptures have to say about Jacob and his wives.
Taryn
I listened to this on a road trip with my mom and a friend. We would get back in the car and they would both be really excited to turn it back on as I groaned. I didn't like the characters and I had a hard time picturing biblical times and stories with modern language and some modern culture mixed in. The bible story does leave a lot up for interpretation , and I don't fill in the blanks the same way Card does.
Leah Tuifua
I loved that in this series Orson Scott Card was able to imagine a relatable world of characters that, until this time, had been completely UNrelatable to me based solely on the limited scriptural accounts of their lives and, to me at least, their often-confounding actions. These books actually helped me to have a greater love and respect for these chosen women (and men) of the Old Testament, simply because I was given a glimpse of how they might have felt, might have lived, might have loved --...more
Kristi
"If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (LDS Article of faith 13)

Shame on you, Card. There is absolutely nothing virtuous about the manner in which women were portrayed in this novel. I will certainly never be picking up another book by Orson Scott Card again, religious, fantasy or otherwise. I am that deeply disappointed.

The idea of an LDS author picking up what little is written about the specific women in the Old Testament and ela...more
Julianne
If you take a few verses of scripture and try to turn it into a full-fledged novel, you have to make up all the details. Give everybody a personality. Figure out what they do all day. Establish relationships between characters. Try to find out why things happened as they did. What were they thinking? Whose idea was it, after all? That's the case in this story based on the four ladies who became the mothers of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

This is Rachel and Leah, Laban and Jacob, Bilhah and Zilpa...more
Rachel
This book was a huge disappointment for me. I have read many books by Orson Scott Card and greatly enjoyed them all. I also read Sarah,the first book in the "Women of Genesis" series, back when it came out, and I liked it well enough. What a difference from Rachel and Leah!

I disliked most of the characters in this book and found them all to be unrealistic. The main women were too flawed, too petty, too immature, too quick to anger, et cetera, to be believable human personalities. The main men,...more
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heidi
I really liked the 1st book in this series. The next 2 were just okay. I'd have to say this one was my least favorite. Leah was annoying througout most of the book (major emphasis on Leah's character and the two handmaids) and I was very disapointed in how the author portrayed Rachel at the end of the book (very imature). I guess I enjoy when the author is generous to the scriptural women and this book didn't do that for me :). The only woman I really ended up liking in this book was Bilhah. And...more
Shannan
Yikes! I have heard that Orson Scott Card is a fine author but this book was a stinker! The text is primarily dialouge between young 11-17 year old girls....and Card gets it all wrong. It reads like a snarky screen play rather than an interesting insightful look into how it may have been for these women of the Bible. It was painful getting through and I was relieved when it ended abruptly and not satisfying either. Then it had the NERVE to offer questions for a book club! AS IF! I don't even wan...more
Liesel
I've come to really enjoy fiction based on biblical stories. This is actually the third in a series with a fourth in the works to finish the tribes of Israel story. I really enjoyed "The Red Tent" and was interested in how the same story was depicted by a different author. Whereas "The Red Tent" really focuses on life after the marriage to Rachel and Leah, this deals with the years of servitude that Jacob performs in order to marry Rachel. Though there are similarities in the portrayal of events...more
April Hochstrasser
I love the plot in Rachel and Leah. What if Leah's marriage to Jacob wasn't such a surprise? What if it was done because Rachel did not want to marry Jacob at the time? What if Leah and Rachel's father did not mean to fool Jacob but was left with little choice. I love the way Orson Scott Card can go back into the time before Christ and create a believable world and story that we can relate to so well in our time. I can't wait to read the sequel, The Women of Genesis.
H
There were two things I really enjoyed about this book: 1) the very different, individual four women who are each given the opportunity to narrate bits of the story, and seeing the background Card has given them, and 2) Leah's growth as a character from beginning to end. I also thought it was interested how Card interpreted "tender-eyed" to mean poor vision; I've never heard that interpretation before--it might be the standard interpretation, for all I know--and thought it fit well in the story....more
Danika
Myths, fairy tales, stories told in the oral tradition of ancient people have always a compelling fascination, even for modern readers. However, being a modern reader, I also love in-depth character development, psychological analysis, detailed dialogues, and exploration of complex relationships, so I have an especial fondness for the novels in which an author tells one of those ancient stories and builds in those modern components. This is precisely what Orson Scott Card does in Rachel and Leah...more
Konnie
Wow! I've never thought so deeply about these women before. This book is all the more interesting to read because we know the ultimate outcome. I'm not entirely sure Card's rendition of the story is entirely plausible, but then how are we to know what was and wasn't so very long ago. It was certainly sympathetic and intriguing. I find it an especially good read, because I think that each of us is both Rachel and Leah in our marriages.
Susan
We read this one for book club. I think I am done with Orson Scott Card. There were many who thought Card should write the whole Bible. Then there were a few, like me, that thought it wasn't that good. Maybe my bias stems from not really liking the biblical story to start with. Anyway, there was a lot of whining and I didn't like how the women were portrayed. yada yada
Tracie
This is the third book in a row that I am giving a 3-star rating. I feel so wishy-washy. The actual writing was certainly a 4 for me, but some of the liberties he took with the characters brings my overall rating down to a 3. I am not sure I buy into his wedding night scenario, either. But hey, its the Old Testament--truth really is stranger than fiction. :)
Rachel
It was really good, but I found some parts improbable, like young girls (10 and 12 years old) speaking maturely of serious matters of life. But it gave me more insight to the Bible story.
Maria Ryan
Oct 06, 2007 Maria Ryan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Orson Scott Card does an amazing job (how does he know women so well?)! Another "can't put it down".
Jenn Wallace
Interesting look into the life of Rachel and Leah - Mormon aspects to book -need to read with caution.
Andrea
A novelization of the biblical story, it really made me think, and brought them to life for me.
Kerry
While I have been enjoying Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series, I was really disappointed in Rachel and Leah. I felt like the author added so much filler to flesh out the story that he ran out of room to actually tell the story! The book ended with Rachel and Leah's marriages to Jacob without any discussion of the drama to come. The Author's afterward notes mentions a part 2, The Wives of Isreal but it hasn't even been written yet and doesn't seem to have a timeline for when it will be wr...more
Jen
I don't know that this packed quite the emotional punch of the first two (Sarah and Rebekah), but Card definitely continues his brilliant guesstimates of the silent spaces in the Genesis accounts. Tackling the two sisters Rachel and Leah is an intense thing, as it continues the Abrahamic theme of Really Bizarre Tales of Family, and Card does it rather well. Not many of his characters were terribly likable, which is why this gets a slightly lower rating than the first two books, but Card does a g...more
Heather Condiff
Here's my problem. And I am sure it is just a problem I have. Any time that, to me, a real person from the scriptures is written about in a fictional setting and thoughts and feelings are interjected in a fictional sense I get a cringe of feeling that it is "man's thoughts and opinions mingled with scripture". That was the constant thing that popped up in the back of my head. I know there are events that I believe to be true but beyond that I don't feel comfortable blending fiction with bible pe...more
Jadie
Holy crap was this the worst book I've ever read in my life. And not just the worst book by Orson Scott Card - no, the worst book I've EVER read. I cannot even handle how sexist Card is. I was expecting a level of sexism throughout this series, given it's based on the Bible, but Card takes it to a whole other level that infuriates me. I'm almost shaking as I type this, I'm so mad. ALSO! Whoever wrote the f---ing book jacket better not ever run into me, because I will tear him or her (guessing it...more
Jen
Yay! I finally finished!! :) I did really like this book. I didn't realize it was part of a series when I started, but really would love to read the other book in the Women of Genesis Series. As a woman I have always been facinated with the women of the scriptures hoping to learn more about myself and how to be a good Christian Woman and drawer nearer to Christ. I definately related to Leah and Rachel in this book. Perhaps more towards Leah as my eyesight has always been awful. It was interestin...more
Elizabeth
WHAT! There is a 4th book! how did i miss that. Argh.

In the beginning i didn't really care for the book. My sister and I argued and fought, but she and i never really had the rivalry that Card wrote about in Rebekah and the beginning of Rachel and Leah. Leah worked on her anger and the rivalry seemed to lessen. I'll have to wait and see what happens in the next book though. Rachel and Bilah were being bratty at the end of the book, but hopefully that will all get worked out.

The Red tent covered...more
Stan
Card quickly became my favourite author, just a few years ago, and he's still up there at that top. I'll have to be honest, though: having read/listened to several of his books in relatively rapid succession, I've noticed that his voice is not only very consistent (that makes perfect sense, of course), but it doesn't have a great deal of variation, and that does, in my estimation, impacts his characterisation just a bit. Card more than makes up for it, however, with a massive degree of plausibil...more
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th...more
More about Orson Scott Card...
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

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