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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  5,521 Ratings  ·  530 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
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Forge Books (first published July 30th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 27, 2007 Emily rated it liked it
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
Jan 25, 2009 Ang rated it did not like it
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.
Sep 23, 2011 LemonLinda rated it it was amazing
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
April Hochstrasser
Mar 12, 2009 April Hochstrasser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
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.
Jun 08, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing
I was so excited when I came across a copy of this book, and it is an amazing read, that takes us through the lives of four incredible young women later to be mothers of the Nation of Israel.

First we read about Bilah, a clever young girl, who is taken by a a friend of her late father's to Laban's camp at Padan Aram, after her father's death in a tragic work accident, before we are introduced to 'tender eyed' Leah, the ravishing Rachel and the other handmaiden Zilpah.
Rachel and Leah are introduce
Aug 17, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
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.
Dec 13, 2008 Taryn rated it it was ok
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
Feb 27, 2014 Leah Tuifua rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 25, 2012 Kristi rated it did not like it
"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
Jul 22, 2010 Brittany rated it liked it
Recommended to Brittany by: Melissa Sharp
It was interesting to read this right after reading The Red Tent. Both authors had completely different interpretations of Rachel, Leah, Jacob, and the surrounding characters. Anita Diamant's book had a very foreign, ancient feel. This book by Orson Scott Card, on the other hand, had scenes and situations that seemed more modern and familiar in comparison. Maybe because I come from his LDS culture, which I presume was his target audience for the Women of Genesis series.

I did like that all Laban
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,
Jan 14, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2010 Heidi rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Apr 30, 2009 Shannan rated it did not like it
Shelves: tossers, 2009
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
Feb 12, 2008 Liesel rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2014 H rated it liked it
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
Feb 04, 2014 Danika rated it it was ok
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
Jan 12, 2010 Konnie rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 22, 2009 Amber added it
Okay, I keep hearing how great these books are, but I just can't get into them. I think it's because the actual people from the Bible are made into the main characters. I really love historical fiction, but I like it when made up people are put into the scenes: I learn about what happened, but without all the weirdness of made up things that we have no idea that happened. Anyhow, it would take something huge to get me to try again.
Mar 07, 2013 Susan rated it it was ok
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
Feb 10, 2011 Tracie rated it liked it
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. :)
Mar 19, 2015 Joyce rated it it was ok
Can you imagine how Jacob felt waiting 7 years to get married and then marry the wrong daughter? Well read this book and you will know how he feels because it felt like it took 7 years to finally make it to the super anti-climatic wedding. Card took way too much liberty writing this book. I kept reading because I wanted to know how he would explain Jacob marrying Leah instead of Rachel and it was absolutely ridiculous. Very lame. Now I say all this but I still want to read the next one and Rebek ...more
Dec 30, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Jan 03, 2008 Jenn Wallace rated it liked it
Interesting look into the life of Rachel and Leah - Mormon aspects to book -need to read with caution.
Jun 24, 2007 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
A novelization of the biblical story, it really made me think, and brought them to life for me.
Jul 12, 2016 Kim rated it liked it
I had always wanted to read an Orson Scott Card book and I did enjoy this one. I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was part of a series, (book #3) but it can be a stand alone book. I would like to read the others as well.
The story of Rachel & Leah from the Bible when Rachel chickens out at her wedding and Leah was switched to be the bride. The groom was not happy at all saying he was tricked. The entire book was a build up for the wedding with it happening at the very end. I wanted
Medea Cygan
Nov 23, 2015 Medea Cygan rated it really liked it
I liked this one much better than Rebekah. The writing was much smoother. I felt at times that it was too sympathetic to Leah, and then in some ways it wasn't. I've always preferred to think there was a more realistic reason why Jacob preferred Rachel over Leah. But, whatever, I can see how this could be a valid extrapolation and I did enjoy the insight into the lives of women at the time. Even though I don't swallow the story completely, it did make me think about a lot of things and I guess th ...more
Nov 13, 2014 Annegirl rated it really liked it
Read this a few weeks ago....interesting plots and story lines...a bit drawn out....I can really relate that Jacob would have shared his faith with Rachel and Leah and that Leah would have been drawn to Jacob's God and would then fall in love because he was different from their tribes men. But I disagree with how their father got Jacob to marry both girls. I think he knew Jacob was worth keeping around and schemed and plotted and lied a lot more than the book portrays. I also think Rachel was mo ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Kerry rated it it was ok
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
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2016 Reading Chal...: Rachel and Leah 1 10 Sep 18, 2015 02:51AM  
  • Fishers of Men (The Kingdom and the Crown #1)
  • The Triumph of Deborah
  • From the End of Heaven (The Great and Terrible, #5)
  • Deborah's Story (Women of the Bible)
  • So Much of Life Ahead (Hearts of the Children, #5)
  • Delilah
  • The Enoch Letters
  • Lilah (Canaan, #3)
  • Daniel and Nephi
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 about Orson Scott Card...

Other Books in the Series

Women of Genesis (5 books)
  • Sarah (Women of Genesis, #1)
  • Rebekah (Women of Genesis, #2)
  • The Wives of Israel (Women of Genesis, #4)
  • The Sons of Rachel (Women of Genesis, #5)

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