Holly Weiss's Reviews > Sarah

Sarah by Orson Scott Card
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Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: kindle, historical-fictionistas, ancient-world
Recommended to Holly by: LemonLinda
Read from January 05 to 07, 2012

Orson Scott Card is well-known for his science fiction novels, especially Ender’s Game (insert link). Now he ventures into the stories of women of the Bible. Card himself states, “Women did not show up much in historical records.”

The book is a retelling of the biblical story of Sarah, wife of Abram. The setting is in the Middle East during ancient times. At the age of ten, Sarah meets Abram and falls in love at first sight. He pledges to come back and marry her and within ten years, he does. Card portrays Sarai as a courageous Hebrew woman from the house of Ur, always devoted to her husband, the patriarch, Abram. She deals with desert life, barrenness and jealousy. Their marriage takes her from Ur, a city on the banks of the Euphrates River in ancient Sumeria, to Canaan, Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt, and back to Canaan.

We can’t possibly know if the real Sarai acted and reacted as Card writes her because the Biblical account of her is sketchy. In this book, she is a living, breathing, complex woman. Cultural and social details are there (not plentiful), but the overriding subject is Sarah and her relationships. She admirably tolerated her ever-complaining sister, Qira. I found it refreshing to read about Abram through the eyes of his wife.

In this fictional account, the author combines historical and archeological details, the Genesis account and his imagination to bring Sarai to life. If you can accept that certain details are changed to suit the author’s pen, you will enjoy this sensitive recreation of Sarai, wife of Abraham. Some of the male/female dynamics are not quite accurate due to the male dominated hierarchy of the time but they add zest to the story.

I admire the author (male) for going out on a limb to recreate a biblical character (female). I wanted to like this book more than I did. I was somewhat put off because it was heavy on dialogue that sounded very modern.

Excellent quote, “Faith doesn’t mean that you never doubt. It only means that you never act upon your doubts.”

In Card’s version, (view spoiler)

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont

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