Carol Orlock's Reviews > Jezebel: The Untold Story Of The Bible's Harlot Queen

Jezebel by Lesley Hazleton
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's review
Nov 03, 2007

Recommended for: all readers

With Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen, Lesley Hazleton has done it again.
Maybe she's succeeded even more -- it's hard to judge because both her recent books are so stunningly good.

Her last -- Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of The Virgin Mother -- looked beneath the myth
of "the perfect woman," discovering the reality behind someone that history re-crafted and cult-ified for a symbol of purity. Jezebel explores the other side of the woman-myth, the dark, rejected, condemned and prurient vision, the primordial woman of sin.

Cracking the code on the virgin/whore dichotomy -- simplistic thinking that makes every woman
at heart either a saint or a slut -- Hazleton's tight, truly exciting writing scrutinizes symbols and
finds real human beings. Hazleton reminds us that a living, breathing woman is no symbol or cipher.

As if being enthralled by a film or a work of fiction, we're carried away to the ancient Middle East. Jezebel is a woman of her time and her place, a world evoked with intense detail and engaging imagination. We live there with Jezebel. We come to know this woman's spirit in the
face of profound political and social pressures, forces very much alive in the world today.

This book is a great conversation starter. To read it is, quite simply, to rave about it.

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