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Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies #1)

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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,955 Ratings  ·  318 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 world ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by River North
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I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
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
Allison Tebo
Review to come....
Christian Fiction Addiction
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mesu
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Tito
This was AMAZING. My first Tessa Afshar book and I absolutely loved it. I know I'm really going to like a book when the main character is relatable, down to earth, funny, and just plain likable, and Sarah was all of those things. Let me just say that I laughed quite a bit when reading this book. Everything was great. The plot, the characters, the setting, just everything. My only small complaint is that I wish the ending of book 2 could have been the ending of this book (I didn't think it needed ...more
Cynthia Marcano
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book ever. I read it once a year and love it more every time.

Beneath the surface of this love story is a love story with God and one's own self.

The characters are so wonderfully written that it saddens me to think how Sarah & Darius are only fictional and never walked this earth or fell in love. It's an actual travesty.

Until next year
Margaret
Such a good book, I think that I especially appreciated the spiritual lessons learned by the main character, Sarah. So many Biblical truths used in the storyline, this author is becoming one of my favorites.
Loraine
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review SUMMARY: 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 world.

REVIEW: I read this series in reverse order but still loved this book so much. Once again Tessa Afshar has i
...more
Jamie
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I came across Tessa Afshar’s first novel, a Pearl in the Sand, through a Kindle deal and really enjoyed it. A historical fiction piece following the life of Rahab from the Old Testament turned into an entertaining and enlightening read. After finishing it, I wanted to read more of her work, but quickly realized I would have to wait for her next release a few months down the road. Finally her second novel, Harvest of Rubies, was released and I’m convinced I was the first person to check it out fr ...more
Cheshire
Sep 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Harvest of Rubies starts off very strong. Sarah first meets Darius by coincidence, when he saves her life. They don't see each other until later, when they have married and the two are at odds. They don't fall in love instantly... except they kind of do. They don't fall in love at first sight, but as soon as they start to see that the other wasn't the vile creature they thought they were, they start having feelings for each other. So that's it for romance.

I loved Queen Damaspia, although I did f
...more
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
...more
Beth
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
...more
Erin
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Katie
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Mei
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
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
...more
Raechel
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was my third or so time reading this book, and each time I read it, I fall even more in love with it. Tessa Afshar's writing is simply beautiful, and definitely God-inspired. I have learned so much from her books by God writing through her. The depth in each of her books is astounding, and I cherish them all the more for it.

This will forever remain a favourite of mine. I love Sarah and can relate to her in many ways. Following along with her journey is delightful!
Loooove this book. All I ha
...more
Dawn
This was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pretty captivated with Sarah from the beginning. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Rachel Leightman
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biblical-fiction
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'
...more
Caroline
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, favorites
After reading Land of Silence, I was apprehensive to start another Afshar book. Though "Land of Silence" was very good, it had many moments which brought me to tears and I have to be in the right mind to read a book like that. But "Harvest of Rubies" was unlike "Land of Silence" since it made me smile 80% of the time.

Highlights:
1) Humor, humor, humor: It was so much more enjoyable since I was least expecting it. The sarcasm of Sarah was well done by Afshar.
2) First person narration: I liked the
...more
Christy Lockstein
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Salyna
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Michelle
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
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
Lori Henrich
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Taryn Skinner
Sep 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
There is a lot of good biblical historical fiction out there like the Red Tent and the Secret Chord - books that don't alienate audiences who are not ultra religious.

This was a very long, boring treatise on how a born again 21st century Christian woman loves and depends on God. She saya this over and over and over until you hate her. For some inexplicable reason, the author decided to embed this essay into the last half of a relatively weak story about a Jewish Scribe who lived 2,300 years ago.
...more
Wisteriouswoman
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
There are some great things about this book.
The first is that it is historical fiction based in ancient Persia. With so much badmouthing about Iran I think it is important for people to understand more about the ancient civilizations in that area of the world. Historical fiction is a good way to educate.

The second is the way the author puts the heroine in situations where she has to ponder Bible quotes and relate them to her life. Since the time period is before the Christian Era, it doesn't hav
...more
Charity U
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Charity
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Constance
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book started well, filled with interesting historical references and what seemed to be a complex female primary character. But it too quickly became heavy-handed. Too much like a romance novel for my taste.
Divya
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Sarah is charming and witty and yet so real. A beautifully written love story. But it had so little to do with God - why did that have to feature in it so much towards the end?
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Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel, Land of Silence, won an Inspy award, and was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016. It was also nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her b ...more
More about Tessa Afshar

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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.” 13 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.” 6 likes
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