What lies In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews for me is a memory of Lady Macbeth and all her treacherous plots to move her husband to the to the top of the game of leadership. A woman so cunning she would risk everyone she purports to love. Queen Athalia is the daughter of Jezebel and a high priestess of Baal. Her husband becomes king by her hand in plots of murder and formidable use of dark arts.
Athalia favors her Stepdaughter Jehosheba and wishes for her to become a great high priestess. Her rigorous training to live the celibate life as priestess to Baal is an honor to Sheba and perhaps the way to win the queen's love. The skills she has learned are the one thing she is certain of in her life. The queen's mother love is mixed with abuse enough to scare the young princess and cause her to doubt any true love or to trust that she can be loved.
Bargained off in marriage to the High Priest of Judah, Sheba feels abandonment from her father. She is separated also from her beloved brother Ahazia. She is stripped of her right to succeed the queen into the role of a pagan high priest. She learns to see her world from a very different perspective, however, as she keeps her husband's marital conditions to serve the one true God of Judah and no other.
She is unprepared for marriage and for living in the temple of Judah where she must give up servants and luxuries that she is used to. Her husband, Jehoida is far different than anyone she has met in her life. He is kind, protective and he is true to his word. His faith in Yahweh is unshakeable no matter the events in an evil world that surrounded his temple and the life he and Sheba lived.
The story has all the elements of a thrilling tale of modern fantasy yet it occurs in the Old Testament of the Bible about people who descend from David's line. Mesu Andrews has brought this story to life for me. There are so many things I could speak to yet the story is not one I wish to spoil. I haven't read this author's work before but plan to look for more in the future.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
I read Summer of Joy by Ann H Gabhart while recovering recently from foot surgery. It kept me company as the days filled with ice and elevation grew long and lonely. I felt myself becoming one with the staff of the Hollyhill Banner, a weekly paper for the folks in the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. David Brooke is pastor of the Mt. Pleasant Church and newspaper editor. His daughter Jocie helps out at the paper while sister Tabitha is single mother to Stephen Lee, a bi-racial baby boy.
Gossip and speculation abound in the story but as David Brooke teaches his daughters you just have to put things out there and eventually any talk that may come will fade away. He knows this to be true from experience when his first wife walked out one night when Jocie was little. Now, all these years later, David is ready to love again and marry Leigh, who is loved by both Jocie and Tabitha. Before this can happen though, we meet with some unexpected suspense in the story that will keep you turning pages!
Small town life in the south during 1964 seems like a idyllic setting and that is not the case with Summer of Joy. For that matter, some of the story is not joyful at all but like all life there is a story here to be shared.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
The Dream Dress is the third book in the christian romance series Weddings by Design by Janice Thompson. For every bride there is a dress; not just a dress but the dress. Being a mom of two married daughters, I concur, the dress has to be the dress for each bride. Our story is about Gabi Delgado, a young woman living with her mother and grandmother in a house of unfulfilled dreams. Gabi is an independent woman who designs and sews her own creations by night and works in an alteration closet by day for one of the most renown designers in Texas. At the beginning of each chapter is a witty quote from Gabi's role model Ginger Rogers the famous dancer....who did everything in heels. Gabi works hard for everything she has and is determined one day to get her big break; in romance, as a famous designer and maybe as the owner of a car with both side mirrors firmly attached to a newer car. In this romantic story our heroine finds that everywhere she turns she is asked to have a little faith. Gabi finds little of that in her heart, especially when it comes to love. Will she be put off the handsome writer for Texas Bride? Will she ever get a break in her own designing career? How can she stand one more day working for someone who doesn't appreciate her work? Janice Thompson shares the hopes and dreams of a young woman with little hope and lots of dreams. The story is humorous and touching but more importantly, it is a testament faith and how a bit goes a long way. Pick up a copy and settle in for a relaxing good read.