Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The Triumph of Deborah
I received an email from Eva Etzioni-Halevy asking if I would review her book. As mentioned before, I had to say yes. Religious, historical fiction is not my usual choice, but I always try to be open minded. I fully expected to dislike this book from the get go. I was wrong. The Israelites and the Canaanites are on the verge of war. After years of discord, Deborah, prophetess and leader of the Israelites, having been recently cast off by her husband, beseeches Barak, a fierce warrior, to battle the Canaanites, though he will be facing an overwhelming force, armed with horses and chariots, against his donkeys and spears. Barak agrees,only after exacting a price from Deborah, that she fears may destroy her. Deborah has a direct connection to God, and prays for victory. Unexpectedly, the Israelite army is victorious and Barak returns home with the two daughters of the defeated King. Thus starts the real story. A love triangle develops (actually a love square, three women in love with the same man) and as events unfold, the meaning of faith and true love emerges, a story of hopelessness, hope, and redemption make a compelling tale. I loved the powerful women in the book, but found most of the men irritating. Communication between men, women, nations and leaders, as well as God, is what propelled me forward through the story. I enjoyed this book very much, and hope it finds many more readers. From this selection, I learned something myself, not to be afraid to try something different, it can be very interesting, and entertaining.