Author: Mesu Andrews
Series: Treasures of the Nile, book 2
Major Themes: Egypt, Exodus
Synopsis: Miriam struggles with sharing God’s presence with other people when Moses appears after a long absence to free his people from Egypt.
I’ve seen mentions several times online, lately, about Miriam, a new novel by Mesu Andrews. The reviews I saw sounded pretty intriguing. They said that Andrews had done extensive research, both in the Bible and in history, to try to flesh out the story of Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses. I finally grew so interested that I looked on a few sites to try to find a copy of this book that I could get for review. It turned out to be every bit as interesting as had been promised.
In this story, Miriam is 86 years old, a retired midwife but still a sough-for healer when her people are mistreated by the Egyptian overseers. She is also a prophetess, the only person to whom El Shaddai reveals Himself. When Pharoah has a pair of terrible dreams, and desperately needs someone to interpret, Miriam’s nephew Eleazar, bodyguard to one of Pharoah Ramesses’ firstborn sons, rashly mentions that Miriam can interpret dreams. When she goes to court to give the interpretation, she ends up putting the whole family in danger. This danger only gets worse as Moses returns from his 40 years of exile in Midian with unwelcome ultimatums for Pharoah.
Throughout the story of the plagues of Egypt is woven a love story—actually, two of them. The main focus of the book is the Biblical account, but the love story helps to carry the whole story forward and adds a bit of tension. I was quite intrigued by the insights into Miriam’s life, and had to stop and think about a number of things—is this really supported by the Bible, or not? Amazingly, some of the most incredible things were. I could not find any details that contradicted Scripture.
I really liked the way Andrews described the plagues. She brought to life very vividly the absolute terror of the people of Egypt, both Egyptians and Hebrews. The sense of wonder and awe when God made a difference between His people and the Egyptians came through vividly, as well. I also enjoyed watching as the Hebrews learned to know and love the God they had totally lost track of during their time in Egypt as slaves.
If you enjoy historical novels as much as I do, you will enjoy Miriam. I appreciated that, even though it includes a romance, there are no explicit descriptions of kisses or other physical relationships. I expected to find scenes I didn’t like in the book, but was pleasantly surprised to find it clean. And, I was pleased that the romances were a secondary part of the book; the most of the book is about the conflict between Moses and the Hebrews on the one hand, and Pharoah and the Egyptians on the other hand. The romances are basically a vehicle to carry the story on. Another facet of the story which I found fascinating was the perception of God and the way He revealed Himself to His people.
I received a free ecopy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
WARNING: There is some killing and a few beatings are described.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults