Mar 8, 2011

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desireable to men, make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Isreal?  Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.  At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father.  In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself.  Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah.  Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

Pearl in the Sand , is a fictional story of Rahab the harlot who became an ancestor of Christ.  The author, Tessa Afshar , delivers a very powerful truth within its pages by taking what little truth is known and weaves it into an entirely believable fiction. Tessa gives Rahab a set of emotional baggage that seems entirely believable for a young woman of her background and circumstances.
As a heathen in a foreign land, Rahab uses what she learns about the Hebrews and their God, and makes a decision of faith in a God she does not know; yet she still doubts her acceptance.   She has complete  faith in Him as The Lord and yet is unable to believe that He would forgive her past,  or see her as having any value. Rahab, in this story, has a childlike faith, yet immense wisdom in how she understands what it means to serve the Lord.

This novel is a historical fiction yet relevant to life as a Christian today. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good christian fiction, with a bit of romance and conflict thrown in.  I enjoyed this book so much that I have ordered a copy to keep on my shelf, as well as one to give away!

And just to whet your appetite - here is a link where you can read chapter 2 from the book:


Words from the Author:  Tessa Afshar

My fascination with Rahab actually started in Italy. During a visit to Florence, I noticed that Ponte Vecchio—the famed bridge straddling the Arno River for almost seven hundred years—had tiny shops built right into its walls. They bulged out of the sides of the bridge like odd-shaped barnacles sticking out of the hull of a ship.  Walking over this bridge reminded me of the story of Rahab. The Bible tells us that she lived in the bowels of a wall too. Her house was built right into the defensive walls of Jericho. I wondered what it was like to live in a wall as I crossed Ponte Vecchio. Then I realized that we all know a little something about that. Most of us have to contend with walls in the interior places of our souls. Walls built on foundations of pride, fear, rejection, loss; walls that keep others at bay and shield us from drawing close enough to get hurt again. Suddenly I was hooked. I wanted to write about walls, about living in them, about pulling them down. I wanted to write about Rahab.

Pearl in the Sand recounts the tale of a woman whose world was a mess, whose life was a mess, whose heart was a mess, but in encountering God, she found to her shock that her life was salvageable. More than that—it was valuable. She found that she was lovable. For her, this process happened through the love of a godly and persistent man who was nonetheless, flawed.

God started the most significant part of Rahab’s life by literally pulling down the walls of her home around her. As traumatic as that moment must have been for Rahab, she could not have moved on to the future God had planned for her without it. In a parallel pursuit of healing for her broken soul, Pearl in the Sand portrays a God who just as determinedly set out to ruin the walls surrounding Rahab’s heart. I think women today need to know God as the wooer and pursuer of their hearts. They need to know that sometimes the most glorious breakthroughs of life come through a vector of God-ordained pain. More than anything I hope the reader of this story will come away with a deeper glimpse into her own soul, and a more profound understanding of God the Father.

Thanks so much for having me as your guest today.


Disclaimer:  In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising;" I am disclosing that: I received a free ebook copy of this title from Netgalley, for review purposes.  I was in no way compensated for publishing my personal review

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