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Two Destinies...One Journey of Love
In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.
When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.
Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace...and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master's wife and thrown into prison.
Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?

224 pages, Paperback

First published August 29, 2011

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Anna Patricio

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside).
Author 7 books282 followers
November 2, 2011
Asenath by Anna Patricio. 2011, 144 pages, Imajin Books

Anna Patricio’s debut novel follows the life of the title character, an Egyptian woman living around 1500 BCE. Part rags-to-riches tale, part Biblical fiction, the book charts Asenath’s transformation from an orphan of an impoverished fishing village to her adoption by aristocratic parents and her rise into the Egyptian upper class. Along the way, she meets the Hebrew man Joseph (the same Joseph from the Bible) and falls in love with him, eventually becoming his loving wife.

Asenath is a sympathetic and sweet character, kind and ethical without ever coming across as saccharine or goody-two-shoes. The book is a fast read with a quick-moving plot, with continually developing subplots to keep the reader hooked until the end. I enjoyed the clever ways Asenath’s presence was wound into the familiar scenes of the Biblical Joseph story, and the relationship between Asenath and her adoptive parents was often funny and touching.

There were a few historical inaccuracies – deben/coin money, for example, was not used in Egypt until several hundred years later; rather goods were obtained by trade or with vouchers for bread and beer, the state currency of the day. The narrative and dialogue, while accessible for modern readers, often felt too modern for the ancient setting.

Patricio’s writing style is trim and spare, with minimal description provided and much left to the imagination of the reader. This frequently gave the impression of skimming over the story rather than being immersed in it, and if not for the personable main character I may not have liked this book as well. My preference as a reader is for more descriptive imagery, particularly in historical fiction, which I read in order to deeply experience other cultures, times, and places. However, this is a personal preference. Many readers become frustrated by authors who spend too many words on description and prefer a book with an engaging main character and a story that moves at a spanking pace. Those readers, and fans of Biblical fiction, should thoroughly enjoy Asenath.

(Book obtained/reason for review: Given to me as a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.)

Profile Image for Heidi.
210 reviews
December 5, 2011
What I enjoyed about this book was the fact Anna Patricio the author took a woman who was only mentioned maybe a few times in the bible and created a detailed story about her.
Something I enjoyed was the way the author wrote how and why Asenath became the wife of Joseph, and the twist on the different biblical characters we have all read as children. This book has great potential if the author would take the time and research other great works of historical fiction writers like Herman Wok.

What I thought could use some work. The book felt like something a senior in High school would write for his or her creative writing class. The author used structurally simple sentences when more complex sentences would have given the narrative a better flow. For example: "Her eyes met mine. We shared a look. Father." It could have sounded like this, "Her eyes met mine and we shared a look. Father." The sentence has a better flow and doesn't feel quite as choppy.
I feel like the author didn't do enough research other than a quick bible reference or Google search and it showed throughout the book. Many times the author would reference people, place and objects using very modern language. It may have been a historical novel but the Author wrote it with a very modern feel in the way the characters act, what they say, and how scenes are portrayed. Did the ancient Egyptians really sit on couches and if they did could the author have used a more period specific word to lend the text more authenticity? There were a few references similar to couch that seemed out of place along with the modern slang profanities.
Profile Image for Tigress.
13 reviews
July 24, 2016
It sounded like it would be a good story but didn't end up that way for me. I am used to more historically accurate fiction. This one missed the mark in several areas. Too many modern day slang & colloquialisms were scattered throughout the story. It sounded like it was written by a modern college kid...making Asenath sound like a typical American teen in how she interacted w/her adoptive parents. I also didn't see the point in her calling one of the story's antagonists a 'bitch' several times, during what would be characterized by most as a teenage temper tantrum. I thought this was supposed to be christian historical fiction..perhaps I was wrong. Also, back in Asenath's time, girls were married young (almost always 'arranged') & already had children by the time this author considered her character 'a lady'. Her character acted immature throughout the story, even after she was married, she still acted as a modern teen would. She never seemed to grow up. Not much research or realism was given to this character, her time period, or even her culture. The author also skips ahead by weeks & yrs w/in two or three sentences. If the reader isn't paying careful attention, you miss that the author just jumped ahead in time quite suddenly and repetatively. There was also the repetative use of the phrase 'and then' to describe what the character did next. Overall, the idea of a story about Asenath was a great one, but it just didn't reach the level I'm used to reading. I was pretty disappointed & had to force myself to finish it. I think that if the author went back and rewrote it with a more adult audience in mind, as well as more depth and research, it would be a great story.
Profile Image for Christine.
6,549 reviews473 followers
November 28, 2012
Asenath is one of those books that has great potential, but it needs a bit more work. It is quite clear from the writing that the author loves the story of Asenath and Joseph, and so do I. I was glad that I read the book, but the book is closer to fanfiction than to an actual novel. While the character of Asenath is well drawn and the romance is real, the wording and description needs some more work. It does feel more like fanfiction than a polished novel. There are phrases like "hung out" that feel totally out of place, even if when giving the book a pass to make the material more accessible. At times, Asenath feels more like a story taking place in a modern city than ancient Egypt. I think I would have been disappointed if I had paid for the book (I got as a kindle freebie).

That said, Anna Patricio conveys though her writing her love and interst in the story. This love and interest does engage the reader and makes the story worth reading, at least for a freebie. In terms of something to pay for, it can use a bit more polish and more description that makes ancient Egypt instead of the modern world.
Profile Image for Book Him Danno.
2,396 reviews54 followers
July 31, 2013

This is from Heidi who reviews for this blog....she also posts some of her reviews on her profile...but not always.

The concept was there, but the execution failed to bring the reader along for the ride.

Thank you to Heidi for this fabulous review.
Profile Image for Louise.
1,548 reviews80 followers
January 27, 2012
Story Description

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?
My Review

This was the most satisfying and beautiful story, I didn’t want it to end! I know it’s early in the year but this could very well be my favourite novel of 2012!

Anna Patricio has penned the most incredible story of the wife of Joseph from the Bible. Asenath is portrayed so well that it’s glaringly obvious that the author has spent a great deal of time researching the book of Genesis and her studies in Egyptology have paid off. We all are familiar with Joseph and his coat of many colours, but few, including myself, know little about his beloved wife, Asenath.

Asenath was born Kiya and grew up until she was nine-years-old playing on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt with her best friend, Menah. A monstrous group of barbarians kidnapped the two kids to exact revenge for a killing that took place years earlier. The son was exacting revenge for the killing of his father. The invaders killed Kiya’s mother and father and she was used as a slave until rescued by Egyptian soldiers and taken to the City of Heliopolis.

Kiya is told her parents were murdered and is eventually adopted by the High Priest and Priestress of Autumn-Re and they changed her name to Asenath. She was told that the name Asenath “…will give you power in days to come.” Kiya was now to be known as “Lady Asenath, Chief Daughter of the Sun.”

As Asenath grows she is learning to be a “Royal” and getting used to servants and citizens bowing and greeting her but she never loses her “roots”. I loved the fact that she never thought of herself as above or better than anyone else and maintains her true self, often talking to the servants and always maintaining the spirit of her days as a peasant.

When she finally meets Joseph, he was a servant in another household in a different city. They correspond through letters for a year and it is through these letters that Asenath learns Joseph is from Canaan and learns who his ancestors are and the fact that they worship only one God. Joseph explains his close relationship with his father and his gift of a coat of many colours. Asenath doesn’t understand why Joseph had come to Egypt instead of staying in Canaan when he had such fond memories and close relationships with his family there.

Asenath finally gets to see Joseph again but he is accused of raping another woman and is thrown in prison. She returns home, packs her bags, and against her parent’s wishes, goes back to the city where Joseph is to try and get him out of prison.

Will she succeed? Will she and Joseph ever be together again? There is so much more to this story but I’ve already said enough and you’ll just have to purchase a copy to find out what happens. I know I couldn’t put this book down, I just had to keep reading, I was mesmerized

I would love to see this author write a sequel to “Asenath” so we can continue to follow her life until her death. I know I’d be first in-line to purchase a copy.

Thank you Ms. Patricio for the pdf copy in exchange for my honest review. I’m so happy that you contacted me as this is one story I wouldn’t want to have missed.
Profile Image for Richard Abbott.
Author 9 books52 followers
September 19, 2012
An unreserved five stars for 'Asenath' so far as I am concerned! Anna Patricio has done a great job at imagining and describing a possible reality behind the scanty details given in the biblical book of Genesis regarding Joseph's Egyptian wife.
I started this book not quite realising that it was aimed at a young adult audience, and so after a chapter or two had to readjust my thinking. That done, it was easy to slip into the swing of the narrative and enjoy the reconstruction. Others who begin reading with the right expectation will not have to carry out this internal switch – but you will need to be aware of the target audience in order to have the right expectations.
Anyone writing around a biblical episode faces the problem that, to a degree, readers already know the ending. Anna is aware of this, and in my view does a great job of instilling a sense of 'so that's how it happened' when you get to items already known from the source materials. The points at which the storyline intersects with the biblical context come over as natural rather than forced, and one feels that Anna did not feel blocked or constrained by these boundaries to her writing.
It's a while since I read young adult rather than adult material, and it did not take long to appreciate the differences. Obviously sex is toned down substantially from one recent novel I reviewed (Michal's Window, by Rachelle Ayala), and from my own writing (In a Milk and Honeyed Land). Even within those constraints, Anna manages to show that human intimacy can be pitched anywhere from tender and loving to violent and brutal.
Also, the characters tend to be more easily pigeonholed for character and motive, and the issues and moral problems they face are simpler. There are few people about whom one is in doubt about their intentions. Writing for a more adult audience, I would personally have been inclined to write more moral ambiguity into the characters, especially Joseph's family who are presented in Genesis as a very dubious collection of individuals , but here seem uniformly attractive. But I think the simpler depictions are appropriate for, and consistent with, the overall standpoint of 'Asenath'.
Having said that, one of the great themes of the book is to see how men and women can be transformed, and redeemed, by the contagious power of moral courage. Here, as in so much of the Hebrew Bible material from which the story is drawn, real change is effected by prolonged personal contact with lives lived out by consistent moral principles, not by listening to speeches or reading texts. So the characters definitely change and grow through the book, mostly but not entirely from bad to good. Prior events, experiences and traumas are not glossed over, but frequently return to haunt, be confronted by, and (typically in the end) overcome by the participants. This narrative theme can resonate equally well in both ancient Israel and Egypt.
From a technical background the details are reasonably well researched. Anna makes a brave choice to select a specific year to start her book (1554 BC), where I would be a little more vague! A range of proper Egyptian terms are used, typically words for rank or items used in worship. Place names are given in modern forms (for example Karnak), which the geeky part of me regretted – but since there is no map, those who are not geeks will therefore be able to look them up on a regular map and orient themselves! Some rituals and key life events which we do not have actual source material for (such as the wedding ceremony) are invented in a rich and consistent manner that does not disrupt the sense of immersion in ancient Egypt.
All in all, a most enjoyable and compelling read, and I look forward to other books by Anna, including a follow-up novel based in ancient Egypt that she mentions at the end of this book.
Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 8 books90 followers
June 20, 2012
Have you ever read something and wondered what was happening in the back ground? That’s exactly what Anna Patricio did while reading about Joseph in the Bible. The story of Joseph is a well known story (if you don’t know about Joseph… it is a very famous story and you’ll find it in Genesis … or you could just cheat and Google ‘The Story of Joseph’ and loads of cheat notes will come up for you) Yet in the Bible, Joseph’s wife is barely mentioned. And from that barely mentioned woman, Anna has created one of the sweetest love stories you’ll find. Yes it is fiction. Yes she did make it up. But she wrapped it in Biblical facts and intertwined her perception of what actually happened… or may have happened.
I really enjoyed reading Asenath. I highly recommend it for everyone.
Profile Image for Tara Chevrestt.
Author 27 books293 followers
November 9, 2011
This is a love story set in ancient Egypt. It’s about Joseph, a biblical character that I’m not too familiar with (not the one who married Mary), and Asenath and is told from Asenath’s point of view.
It begins with a very young Asenath who at the time was named Kiya. Her village is pillaged and she is enslaved and orphaned. She later goes to a temple of orphans where a very rich couple adopts her.
Asenath discovers that despite “having it all”, she is lonely and the society of nobility is not all it is cracked up to be.

For full review, follow the link below:
Profile Image for Wendy.
469 reviews1 follower
November 14, 2012
I normally enjoy books like this -- take a historical character -- especially one we don't know that much about & flesh them out with fiction (ie, Girl With the Pearl Earring) -- imagine what they might have been like -- but this book was so silly -- when Asenath says of Joseph, "He completes me," I quit reading I just couldn't handle any more -- clearly, Asenath has watched Jerry McGuire one too many times
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,913 reviews
March 24, 2019
Asenath is the wife of Joseph, one of the Old Testament patriarchs. She has only a brief mention in the Bible, so we know little about her. This was a debut novel for Patricio and I really enjoyed it. So dwelling on the history of that time period in Egypt and what knowledge we have of priestesses of that period, Patricio lent her imagination to building a story of Asenath's life and then her romance and marriage to Joseph.

Having just finished Dreamers which is also a story of Joseph and Asenath, the focus there is on Joseph. So it was interesting to read a book where the focus instead is on Asenath. It is a shorter read, but still a complete and intriguing story. Pairing the two together definitely painted an interesting picture of the life and times of Joseph, Asenath and Egypt.
Profile Image for Kim.
270 reviews7 followers
December 28, 2020
I always enjoy reading stories of people found in the Bible in a non-biblical trope. The Red Tent is one of my favourites in that regard.

Asenath is no Red Tent. There seemed to be some portions that were well researched, but other things just didn't seem to make sense. Having it through Asenath's eyes limited the scope. She was almost apologetic for Egyptian culture when I'm pretty sure it would be the only thing she knew.

The writing was very juvenile as well. There was no complexity in the narrative, and there were certain phrases that didn't belong in this era.

At the end of the day, it seemed like this story was still just about her marrying Joseph - like that was the only thing interesting about her, which is a huge bummer.
Profile Image for keri.
15 reviews
April 22, 2020
This gave me insight into ancient Egypt that I did not have before. I loved it. Couldn't put it down.
255 reviews13 followers
April 13, 2018
I picked this up expecting a historical, but it read more like a modern day chick-lit transposed to pre-biblical times.
The premise was excellent, the delivery disappointed.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews211 followers
January 5, 2014
Reviewed by Maria
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this book. I love historical fiction, and combining two of my favorite history topics, Ancient Egypt and Biblicial times, I knew that this was a must read.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed. This book is as vivid and colorful as an Egyptian tomb painting. I often read the story of the Old Testament Joseph and wondered about the lady Asenath, his wife, mentioned but once in the Bible. This book fleshes out the character and makes for an interesting story. As Bible readers might know, in the Bible, adoption is considered as valid as the actual physical begetting of children. Jesus Christ Himself was adopted by the New Testament Joseph and this is how He came to be considered of the lineage of King David, that Joseph’s ancestor. This book shows lady Asenath as having been a village child who lost her parents when she was taken into captivity by a marauding tribe, later to be returned to Egypt and adopted by the High Priest of the Temple of Heliopolis as his own daughter. The writer does a creditable job in bringing alive the sights and sounds of Ancient Egypt. At the same time, she doesn’t mince words about the social inequality and how the slaves were treated as sub-human. Asenath is shown as a caring and compassionate woman, having seen life from both sides, as a member of a poor family at first and later as a member of one of Egypt’s most influential families.

It’s probably quite well known that ladies in Ancient Egypt had a lot of social freedom. Living in modern Asia, I was rather taken aback when I read Asenath taking her high priest father to task for opening the seals on scroll letters sent to her by male acquaintances. It certainly isn’t the way in eastern societies today. A father is considered there as having a perfect right to take certain measures to protect the honor of his unmarried daughter. I couldn’t help wondering if the writer had made a mistake or if that really was the way in Ancient Egypt. Then there’s the matter of the papyrus scrolls. The writing of that time was quite exquisitely artistic and while people in the past are supposed to have been much more prolific letter writers than people today, I just can’t see the Ancient Egyptians having long philosophical discussions with each other using papyrus scrolls, as Asenath and Joseph are shown as doing in his story. I could certainly imagine the pair as newly wedded lovers sharing their life stories with each other, but not exactly discussing Hebrew history via letter, given the fact that producing a page of papyrus script was such an artistic labor. I’d imagine that greetings and the exchange of each other’s welfare would be about the most they could communicate through that particular medium.

Biblical romance? Well, why not? The Bible folk too were living, breathing people with feelings and emotions. The romance between Joseph and Asenath is what would be categorized as ‘sweet’, There’s much breathless admiring of each other’s physical beauty, the odd stolen kiss and walks in exquisite surroundings. Given the fact that Asenath was free before marriage, according to this book, to roam about with men she was friendly with, that’s kind of astonishing. Considering that Joseph was such a spiritual powerhouse, I find it difficult to imagine him emotionally dependent on a woman for whom spirituality was simply religious and magical ritual. I was expecting Asenath to have some kind of spiritual experience regarding Joseph’s God. I thought it would happen in quite a powerful way, but it never really did.

But overall, I enjoyed the book. It is a brave attempt to bring to life a fascinating woman who has been hiding in the Biblical shadows for a long, long time. The writer has particularly vivid powers of description, which adds to the charm of the novel.

Favorite Quote: The garden was magical. Silver beams from a full moon drifted upon the flower beds and lotus ponds. Fountains tinkled, their drops splashing like watery stars. Lotus blossoms glowed against the darkened ground. As I strolled down the path, a handful of honeybees fluttered together like a golden halo above my head. Their delicate wings caught the moonlight, making them look like gleaming petals. The bees seemed calm and I felt tranquility wash over me.
Profile Image for Crystal.
545 reviews35 followers
November 11, 2011
When Anna sent me her request for me to review Asenath, I was intrigued by the story. I knew who Joseph was from Sunday School and Church but did not know of his wife. What I did not know at the time was I was about to begin a Bible Study of the Bad Girls of the Bible that would introduce me to a few other charcters from the story, Potiphar and Potiphar's wife (who does not have a name in the Bible, but obviously has a name in history). So I was even more fascinated when I began this book to know more of the players and the background in the story (and to know already that Potiphar's wife was a bad girl).

Now onto my review, I was entranced with Asenath from the first page. When Kyia (who will become Asenath) is abducted from her happy life I felt for her, but she manages to make a go of things. Then she is rescued, then things aren't happy when she is returned and she is taken to the city. Then things begin to look up for Kyia. I loved the short glimpses into her life. I think one thing I really liked about the book is it never gets bogged down too much by the daily things or in one period of her life. Ms. Patricio seems to set the scene for the period of Asenath's life, let enough of it play out to show what is going on, what is important and if there is something that needs to happen it happens then it moves on to the next point. This can also make it a little confusing, but I think she did a great job of breaking it up so the reader understands that it's now a few months or years later.

Asenath as a character is fascinating, she retains much of her peasant self even as she grows up in a High Preist's home. She still talks to servants and does not really see herself as above others which is a point of contention with her best friend and with her Father. But I think this endears her to the reader and it makes her romance with Joseph more believable as well. There are times I wish she was just a little more fleshed out, but I realize the author was covering a large time period with a lot of turmoil and action going on. Enough of Asenath's personality comes through that I like her and want to read more about her and will remember her for weeks after the book is finished.

The romance part of the book ups the ante of the book. It throws in romance of course but also some intrigue. I was completely captivated by this point of the book. I truly believed in the romance between Joseph and Asenath. It felt pure and good like a first love should. I also like how she begins to have some faith in his God. She does not stop believing in her own gods, but at times she will pray to the God of Joseph. I found this fascinating. As she grows older and things begin to be tougher I love how she never gives up on Joseph. At this point I did not put the book down from about halfway through until the end. I had to know what would happen. I love how the author finished it and I felt very satisfied with the ending.

Asenath is a completely satisfying historical read. I can't tell you much for historical accuracies as I am not a history buff, but it felt like things were right. I know the stories align with the Bible stories, and that things align with other Egyptian historical fiction I have read. I think Ms. Patricio has crafted a wonderful novel for the reader to enjoy. The characters are memorable, the plot moves at a good pace and the book is just meant for a wonderful afternoon of reading.
Profile Image for Jackie.
3,510 reviews113 followers
January 20, 2012
Book Synopsis

Two Destinies...One Journey of Love

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?

My Thoughts

As a fan of stories from the Bible I was intrigued and curious when the author approached me to read and share my thoughts on her debut book. It was an interesting idea to take a little known character, married to a well known Bible character and create a story from her point of view that the author pretty much created whole cloth while using bits and pieces of other Biblical characters lives to enrich and flesh out the story.

Asenath is a story that is a little over 200 pages, it flows well, is a treat for those who enjoy ancient Egypt and tales of Pharaoh and his family, a glimpse into what the lives of people who lived in the time frame of the story were like and shows the difference between those whose very existence depends on the whims of the politically powerful and those who hold the power.

This is a tale of the fisherman's daughter Kiya who was first ripped from all she has ever known, taken as a slave and then rescued to become the adopted daughter of a High Priest and his wife. On her adoption day she is given the name of "Asenath" and she is elevated to the status of upper class but at heart she remains the same young girl whose humble beginnings allow her to show others sympathy and empathy in a world that is at times cruel as well as elegantly beautiful.

The book details the life of Asenath and follows the romance between she and Joseph which soon turns into an all consuming love. Even though there are many obstacles to the two of them their love prevails in the end.

For those of us who enjoy watching people in the mall and other public places while making up stories about what they do, who they are, how they live and so forth this is a book that is very similar to that concept. It is a tale that is part fact and part imagination that showcases the fact that with hope, determination and love one can overcome odds that seem to be insurmountable!

[An e-copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.]
Profile Image for RivkaBelle.
862 reviews
May 10, 2012
Book provided by author for review.
Review originally published on my blog AWordsWorth.blogspot.com

From humble beginnings as the daughter of a fisherman in a small river village, Kiya's life is turned upside down time after time - first by raiders who ransack her village, killing her parents, then by the High Priest Lord Pentephres who brings her to the Temple in Heliopolis and later adopts her. Struggling to maintain her own identity, even as she adjusts to her new life as a member of the nobility, Asenath (as she is now known), grows into a striking young woman. Not just in terms of her beauty and height, but in terms of her person. Asenath is not content to sit idly by and while away her time in luxury, so she begins tutoring children of her parents' friends. Her heart is not bound by the structure of Egyptian society, and she sees the "slaves" around her as people - a compassion perhaps encouraged by her own humble beginnings. Asenath's unwillingness to conform to class distinction is tested - and proven true - when she meets Lord Potiphar's steward Joseph.

Joseph is both an indentured servant and a Hebrew - two strikes against him in the eyes of most Egyptians, but especially Lord Pentephres, who desires Asenath to marry someone of distinction and standing. At first, Asenath just feels an undeniable attraction to Joseph: he makes her feel safe, and he's gorgeous. (Good reasons, no?) But as they become friends through correspondence, she starts to feel a stronger connection. Trials come once more when Potiphar's wife accuses Joseph of attempting to rape her, and he is thrown in prison. During the long years of Joseph's imprisonment, Asenath continues to grow and develop into a charming, accomplished and very genuine young lady. Finding herself employed by Pharaoh's wife as Royal Tutor, she thanks "the God of my dear one" for the chance to be so close - even if still so far - to Joseph. When the story picks back up the familiar Biblical tale of Joseph and Pharaoh's dreams, Asenath finds herself once more in the company of Joseph - and undeniably falling deeply in love.

The course of true love never did run smooth, but everything Asenath and Joseph endure makes their love stronger - and helps burn the dross from each, so their characters are as strong and admirable as their love is true. Their relationship is a beautiful story, and as an imagining of how things may have played out, once upon a time...well, let's just say I find myself hoping something as beautiful is the true story. (There's a particularly telling incident early in the story that comes back into play later, and it made my heart smile). Asenath is not only the story of Asenath and Joseph however: it offers a wonderfully detailed glimpse at Egyptian society and culture. As an Art History minor and History major, I was thrilled to see so many familiar names and references. And the details Patricio paid to the dress and jewels and decor - lovely, simply lovely.
Profile Image for Christie Cote.
Author 6 books47 followers
February 19, 2012
Asenath by Anna Patricio

Asenath was not always her name, and she was not always from a powerful and wealthy Egyptian family. When she was young, her life was changed forever when she was kidnapped and never saw her family again. After some time, she was saved from her horrible fate and given a new life as a servant. While she did her duties, a couple became taken with her and, having always wanted a child of their own, decided to adopt her. This started her life as Asenath, again changing her life forever.

Asenath had everything she could have dreamed of and lived very well, but she still felt an emptiness until she met Joseph. He made her feel things she had never felt before, and she enjoyed talking to him. Unfortunately, fate was not on their side, and, just as she was able to see him again, he was taken away from her, sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Asenath had to go on with her life, hoping there would be a way to get him out.

This book surprised me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about it, especially since I don’t normally read historical fiction. The love part is probably what mostly caught my attention; I always like a good love story. After I got past the beginning, I began getting into it, and, as I got farther in, I found myself wanting to turn the pages more and more to find out what would happen next.

I really was taken in by the love story, which was probably my favorite part. I often forgot that the story was taking place in Egypt. It had a forbidden love thing going on because Joseph wasn’t in the same “class” as her, and, especially because he went to jail, the entire time, I’m screaming in my head at her parents, “Hello, she was a servant before you adopted her!” It was a great love story that came full circle. It even had a twist that I never saw coming. I really loved it and was like, “Oh my, that is amazing.” It really touched my heart.

The author did really well with this book. I don’t know much about the Egyptian time, but I felt like the author gave me a good feel of the time and place. I liked the characters, and they felt real. The author impressed me, and she did great with the beginning, middle, and end, bringing the story full circle in one book. It had a good ending and didn’t leave me expecting another book because it felt complete.

I received a request from the author to review this book.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
127 reviews48 followers
April 2, 2012
From my blog.

I truly enjoyed this book. The author created this amazing character with a in-depth and detailed back story and she is only briefly mentioned in the Bible! I have a few little quibbles about some things, which I’ll talk about in a minute, but overall this is a richly drawn story and one I would definitely recommended to anyone who enjoys historical/biblical fiction.

In the beginning we meet Kiya, a young girl whose village is overrun by rebels and her parents are killed. When she and her fellow villagers are later freed by Egyptian soldiers and taken to the city of Heliopolis to live, Kiya cannot believe her luck. She continues to miss her village, but over time she comes to accept where she is and actually likes it.

Soon, Kiya is adopted as a priestess-in-training and given the name Lady Asenath. She has many encounters with Joseph throughout her young life and is immediately drawn to his strength and to his God. I found these parts of the novel very sweet. To think that they were smitten with each other years before they actually got married and were star-crossed lovers, so to speak, was an interesting way to approach the character of Asenath.

I think the author took a bit of liberty with the story of Joseph and Potiphar. The Bible tells us that Potiphar “burned with anger” (Genesis 39:19, NIV) after hearing about Joseph supposedly taking advantage of his wife (even though she advanced on him and he ran from her), so he threw him in prison. In the fictional account of Asenath, Potiphar has a soft heart for Joseph and does what he can to help Asenath see Joseph in prison and to help Joseph however he can. I do not see his fondness for Joseph backed up by scripture, so I had a hard time believing it. Now, I do understand that this is fiction, but I think the main themes of the Bible should remain intact. If Potiphar “burned with anger”, I cannot see him softening toward Joseph and helping him while he was in prison. On the other hand, since we know literally nothing about Asenath, I had no problem with the back story that the author created. The Joseph/Potiphar relationship was my only quibble with the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It is easy to read and I found myself anxious to get back into the story each night. It is a rather quick read, too, at less than 200 pages. I would definitely recommend it.
84 reviews3 followers
July 12, 2012
Sometimes I hate reviewing books! When a book is great and I love it, the review is easy. However, if I don’t love the book, the review is difficult. How do you point out the flaws without the author taking offense? I want my remarks to be constructive and honest but I don’t want to offend. It would be so much easier if I knew the author personally.

I am going to be generous and give this a 3-star rating. Why? Growing up, my favorite Bible story was “Joseph of Egypt.” He was my hero. I wanted to marry a man just like him. I even named my son after him. I never spent much time thinking about his wife. Because the author chose to bring to life the woman who stood beside my hero, she gets the extra star. I believe this story really could be a diamond in the rough.

Now, to the reasons I didn’t love this book.

When the story began Asenath was very young. The writing very much reflected her age with its accompanying characteristics. However, the writing did not keep pace with the change in the character’s age. Before Asenath’s wedding she was still behaving like a teenage girl. There were moments I honestly thought I was reading the diary of a 16 year old—I longed to slap her. I wanted Asenath’s maturity to be reflected in the writing.

I didn’t need to be told that his eyes were hazel and olive nine times. Tell me once, perhaps even twice, and then leave it out of the description. For example, “The hues of his magical hazel-olive eyes glowed in the night…” (p 179). I already know from the previous descriptions what the hues are. Redundancy can really kill the flow of a story.

I felt at times that the writing was too modern. In a previous Biblical series I read, the modernization was not a distraction to me. However, and I’m not entirely certain as to why, this time I found it to be a huge disruption.

Additionally, I was confused by some of the chapter layouts. Often, jumps in time were not logically separated from the previous paragraph. It was like a huge “run-on” chapter. Give me a double space between paragraphs, a new chapter, or some other indication that we are moving on.

I wish this author the best and look forward to her future publications.
Profile Image for Theresa.
416 reviews44 followers
February 22, 2012
I usually avoid reading novels about Biblical figures because they never seem to match my idea of what those figures are like, but there was something about "Asenath" that made me really want to read this one.

Told through the eyes of Asenath, one quickly develops a connection with her. She's strong, captivating, innocent and curious, and most of all, she has a beautiful heart. At a young age, she was captured and enslaved, then was adopted by an Egyptian priest and priestess. Her life runs parallel to Joseph's and it only seems natural that she would befriend him. This creates a captivating and quite well written love story that brings to life Egypt during the time of Joseph and makes the reader feel like they are there and involved instead of "watching" from the sidelines.

There were a few times this novel didn't ring authentic for me. I couldn't help but wonder if women really were allowed to travel alone or with only one male? I got the sense that it was "normal" then, but it didn't feel "right" to me. I kept wondering why women weren't required to protect their virtue like they did later on in history. I also had trouble getting used to modern language being used in a story of a different time period. One example that sticks out in my mind was when Asenath was "hanging out" with her animals. I would find that after allowing myself to be "transported" back to that time, sometimes the 21st century phrases would break the "mood" for me and I'd remember I was reading a book.

These details shouldn't dissuade one from reading "Asenath", but it did keep me from rating this as a 5 star book. The story itself was very captivating and most definitely worth reading! Anna Patricia did a wonderful job capturing the essence of what I would imagine Joseph and Asenath to be like.
Profile Image for Page (One Book At A Time).
705 reviews64 followers
July 8, 2012
I would think your enjoyment of this book might depend on what you expect from your historical fiction. If you want gossip, intrigue, and scandal this is not it. If your looking for an overall sweet story about a biblical figure that very little is known, than this is for you.

I must confess, prior to reading this, I don't think I knew that Joseph had a wife. Since Joseph was such a devote follower of God, I don't see him willingly taking a wife who followed pagan gods. So, in all reality, I imagine that it might have been love that drew them together. Knowing nothing about Asenath, and only the basics about Joseph, this story seems entirely plausible.

I liked that the story included all the basic information about Joseph that I already knew. But sticking to the facts, it made Asenath seem more plausible. I enjoyed her background story. Kidnapped and orphaned at a young age, she was then raised in the temples. She caught the eye of some nobility, who then decided to adopt her (this was the only part of the story that I found odd). While she grows up with wealth and prestige, she never gives up her background. She always helps those who are less fortunate and despises those around her who do nothing. Maybe that's drew her to Joseph. They were kindred souls.

While the story never really feels like it pushing a religious agenda, it's definitely an undertone. It's almost like there's a divine energy that pushed Asenath and Joseph together. And maybe there was. Asenath put up with a lot to be with him, and yet she never gave up on the idea. She went against her customs to get her wish.

A light read for sure. It didn't contain many of the elements that make historical fiction intriguing. But, I found that I enjoyed it. Plus, it was a fast read!

Profile Image for Kathleen (Kat) Smith.
1,612 reviews81 followers
November 29, 2011
Filled with all the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, Anna Patricio, captures the very essence of the time period in the debut novel, Asenath. Pulled from the Bible we find an unknown character written about in Genesis 41, the wife of Joseph, the readers are in for a delightful journey into the lives of the people in Egypt during the year 1554 B.C. Where the worship of various Gods were still responsible for how the people responded to certain situations.

Here we find the story of a young girl named Kira who endured a tragedy of losing her family and being taken as a captive during the war between a humble fishing village Kira was a part of and a rival jungle tribe. When the armies of Egypt finally rescue her, now an orphan, she is immediately taken into the temple to be raised as a servant of the high priests and priestesses that dwell within.

Kira still remains a humble child with believes that people should not be treated as less than human and it's her encounter with a abused slave boy in a market that will ultimately change her life as a servant forever. Her kindness is both an asset and her downfall depending on who she comes face to face with. Will she be able to find true love and the life she so desperately longs for in as the sands of time continue their assault on Ancient Egypt?

I received Asenath by Anna Patricio compliments of the author for my honest review and being a huge fan of Ancient history and especially all the mysteries surrounding Egypt, I literally jumped at the opportunity. For anyone who loves history, Egypt and a great fictional story written around both, then this is the perfect book for you. Hands down this is an exceptional novel and rates a 5 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Marybeth .
261 reviews16 followers
September 14, 2012

When it comes to historical books, I go for them, because they are fun and interesting. This book was no different.

Kiya, who will later become Asenath, is the daughter of a fisherman and his wife. After her parent's are killed, she and the other orphans are taken to the Temple of Atum-Re in Heliopolis. There, the high priest and his wife adopt Kiya, where they rename her Asenath. Afterwards, life for her changes drastically. Once just the daughter from a peasant family, she is now apart of the upper class. Soon she and her new parent's travel to Thebes were she meets Joseph.

This tale is a mixture of a historical novel with a Biblical account about Joseph of Canaanite, who was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt.

Patricio does an amazing job of mixing history and Biblical stories together in a wonderful tale about love, betrayal, family, and I especially love the setting. I have always had a strange fascination with Egypt, so this story was a wonderful change. Not just for the setting but it just took me into another world and I really liked that.

The story starts out slow, in my opinion, which is why I gave it three-stars. I almost put this book down several times because I just kept wondering when something interesting would happen. I am glad, though, that it does pick up.

I also wish there was a little more background. I didn't feel fully immersed into the story as I could have been. Bring Egypt to life, not just the characters.

This was a great novel and with a few rough edges, but it doesn't take too much away from the central story. I am really glad that Patricio let me read her debut novel. Recommended out there for the Biblical character readers out there.
Profile Image for Lauren K.
490 reviews53 followers
January 14, 2012
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

3.5 stars

Asenath is the debut novel by Australian author Anna Patricio. The story of Joseph from the bible was one of her favourites; however she was intrigued by his Eyptian wife, Asenath. Patricio’s novel is a fictional account of Asenath’s life and her marriage to Joseph.

We are introduced to Asenath as a young girl, living in a fishing village and enjoying the blissful carefree life of a child. Her simple life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped along with many other children from the village by a jungle tribe. Luckily, Asenath escapes unscathed, only to return to her village where she is now orphaned.

A wealthy family of high status in the city adopt Asenath and so the once peasant girl from a fishing village named Kiya, becomes the elegant Lady Asenath with prestige in society. Despite her new path in life, she falls in love with a kind, caring steward, named Joseph. However, there are many obstacles placed in their way over many years that keep them apart.

Asenath, is written in a simple, almost child-like prose in the beginning and matures somewhat as Asenath ages in the story. The writing style was a little stop and start at times, but once I got into the flow, I found this story quite enjoyable. The romance is sweet and it was interesting to learn more about ancient history in Egypt, to which I have little knowledge of.

Asenath is a quick and engaging historical love-story from debut author, Anna Patricio.
Profile Image for Courtney Wyant.
95 reviews3 followers
December 9, 2011
I give it a 3.5 so that rounds it up to a 4.

This book was sent through to me to read as a review copy from the author herself and I really thought it was decent for a debut author who has talent. I took a while for the romance to kick in but all together it wasnt terrible but it wasn't one of the greatest,epic novels. It was just good.
So I have very few problems with the language. The B-word was not derived from the Isrelites, it was the French which came around in the A.D. not before Christ , which is when Asenath and Joseph were around and born.
I did like how she took Asenath who was barely mentioned in the bible and created a novel about her life and love with JOseph, one of the best known stories in the old testimate by young and old alike.
Also the language wasn't like a historical should be as I said with the B-Word was well derived in the newer days and new english.
So the plot line was intresting by all means. I did stay up late tryin gto finish it and figured out about Joseph and see if Asenath and Joseph would end up together, okay, since I read the bible verse I knew they would end up together but how was what was on my mind. So how they ended up together was amazing. One of my favorite parts of the book.
So Asenath is a kick-butt character. She will speak what she thinks even if it will land her punishment. Also one thing about her is she is cares about others more than herself. Always I love to try a new author, whether published or Indie, just as much work and adoration goes into the book. Even if the author has written books before its a new to me. SO pick it up next time you are ebook shopping and want a goodread.
Profile Image for Heather C.
492 reviews79 followers
December 27, 2013
I picked up this book because it is set in Ancient Egypt, a setting that I absolutely adore. I didn’t have any idea that it was based on the Biblical story of Asenath and Joseph (of the Coat of Many Colors fame). So I not only got a story set in Egypt, but also a little more Biblical knowledge to boot (because of course I then went and looked up the Biblical passages). I always find it so interesting to see how an author takes what is typically just a few short sentences from the Bible and can turn it into an entire novel.

One of the strengths of the author was creating a vivid world in which her characters existed. It was very palpable and visible. It was almost its own complete character. One of the areas I found to be a little weak was in characterization; they seemed to belong to either pole – pure or evil. With this tendency, I became quite frustrated with some of the characters from time to time.

The pacing of the book also could use some improvement. It was difficult to get into the book, even though there was action right from the first sentence. I think the issue was that we didn’t know any of the characters yet to get the emotional punch that the scenes intended. That was a real missed opportunity. While the beginning moved too quickly, there were other parts that were much too slow. Asenath was frequently too introspective and this was a common cause of the drag.

Overall, the story was an entertaining, short, quick read.

This review was previously posted @ The Maiden's Court. Was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kristina.
881 reviews18 followers
May 12, 2012
3.5 stars...

In 1554 BC, nine year old Kiya loses her mother and father when their village is attacked. When the Pharaoh's army saves the orphans from a life of slavery they are sent to Heliopolis to be educated. It is here that Kiya gets adopted by Lord Pentephres and his wife, Lady Satsepdu, who very badly want a child of their own. Kiya becomes Asenath and begins her upper class life.

Through her travels with her parents she meets Joseph, a slave to Lord Potiphar, but within the next few years will be able to earn his freedom. Asenath is instantly attracted to Joseph and the two of them write letters to each other for many years, until they finally meet again. The romance between the two was very sweet. I sometimes felt it was a little unrealistic though, but the writing wasn't too bad, which helped me to get through it.

Anna Patricio retold the Biblical story of Joseph the Canaanite, and I think she did a wonderful job with it. I don't know many from stories from the Bible, but I did look this one up and found it interesting.

I did have some problems with the writing. I felt that some of the mannerisms that were said and some of the word usage would not have been said or done during this time period. I would have also liked to see more descriptions about Egypt, the prisons, and the home that Asenath lived in.

Overall, I did enjoy Asenath. Having a masters degree in Social Studies education, I can definitely appreciate Patricio's work. I think religious historians would be pleased with this romance.
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