Title: Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope
Author: Texie Susan Gregory
Major Themes: Egypt, Exodus, Israelites, Slavery
Synopsis: Jochebed’s faith in God is severely tried as the oppression increases on her people in Egypt.
I’ve always enjoyed historical novels set in Bible times, but at the same time I have a hard time knowing which ones are worth taking time to read and which are rubbish. I wanted to read Slender Reeds when I saw it, but was a bit wary at the same time. A lot of times, a book with that type of topic can have off-color things in it. I was pleased with this one, though. It was quite clean. I’m not sure about the historical accuracy; after watching the documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus I question several items in Slender Reeds. It’s very hard to know exactly what the truth was, though, about that era, so I’ll give Ms. Gregory the benefit of the doubt.
Slender Reeds begins when Jochebed is just becoming a woman, and therefore just ready to be married. She lives alone with her mother, under the shadow of her father’s death many years before. Many people believe he betrayed his people, and because of that they look down on Jochebed and her mother as well. However, Amram would like to marry her, so she agrees to it. Can she learn to love him? Will she be able to present him with sons?
Jochebed also has a few close friends who have struggles of their own. Infertility, rejection by their people, and the death of newborn babies cause such a strain between the friends that they wonder if they can ever repair the breach. And then, Pharoah issues the most horrible edict of all. Can any of the young women hold on to their faith in God through this terrible time of trial?
As a mother, I found Jochebed’s emotions when Pharoah ordered the death of all the male babies to hit very close to home. The author did a superb job of portraying how the mothers would have felt. The suffering of the children of Israel in Egypt is shown quite vividly, as well as their faith—or lack thereof—in God. If you enjoy novels based on Biblical characters, Slender Reeds is a good one.
I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley and chose to write a review.
WARNING: A couple of times, marital relations are alluded to, but vaguely. Whippings and people being eaten by crocodiles are also mentioned a few times.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
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