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Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she'll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai--and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan's armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God's calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?
With her trademark impeccable research and her imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel's most powerful woman in a novel that is both intriguing and inspiring.
Deborah, Old Testament judge and prophet, is the focus of the second book in prolific author Smith's (The Crimson Cord) Daughters of the Promised Land series. The story opens when Deborah, obeying her father's instruction to return home, is given in marriage to Lappidoth. In this tumultuous time, Sisera, a Canaanite, is terrorizing the Israelites. After their marriage Deborah has trouble respecting her husband because he tends the fields and works as a scribe, refusing to train as a warrior and fight Sisera. Ten years later however, after hearing a message from God, Lappidoth offers to teach Deborah how to read and write in order to fulfill her God-given role as prophetess. Smith entwines Deborah's story with the story of Barak, the leader of another clan who wants vengeance against Sisera. The telling of the two strands reads unevenly, with the formal, Biblical dialogue slowing the pace, especially in contrast ato the colloquial feel of the larger narrative. Smith, however, brings astute observation to the inner conflicts Deborah feels about Talya, her "beautiful, obstinate daughter," about her role as prophetess, and about her feelings toward Lappidoth. This is both a well-drawn love story as well as the wistful imaginings of early Israel.