The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.
At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?
Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.
Andrews (The Pharaoh's Daughter) offers her unique brand of in-depth Bible knowledge and storytelling flair in this tale of Miriam, sister of the famous Moses and Israel's prophetess during the slavery of Israelites in Egypt. Miriam's strong faith comes into question when she begins to experience her gentle husband, El-Shaddai, as Yahweh, God of Moses, as well as plagues and death. Before the story ends with the Israelites' miraculous freedom after the final, horrible plague, Andrews offers readers a beautiful and nuanced picture of Miriam and other characters: Eleazer, Miriam's beloved nephew and slave soldier; Taliah, his young and headstrong wife; Hoshea, Eleazer's right-hand man, of gigantic faith; and even stubborn Pharaoh Ramesses himself. Andrews is gifted at bringing the past to life, and readers will thrill at God's victory even as they struggle, as Miriam did, to understand God's plan. This novel is biblical fiction at its finest.
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Must Read Biblical Fiction
It’s common to read reviews in which the reviewer boasts of how quickly they’ve read the book or how impossible it was to put down. However, I believe some books are meant to be read slowly so the gravity of the events and the significance of the author’s message can penetrate our thoughts — such was the case with Miriam. Over the course of her previous 5 novels, Mesu Andrews has built a reputation of letting her love for teaching God’s Word spill over into her works of biblical fiction. Therefore, when I sat down to read Miriam I was prepared with post-it flags and a copy of the Bible. Call me a book nerd or bible geek, but in doing so, I’ve gained rich satisfaction from this novel and many points to ponder for days to come.
I’ll begin my praise by focusing on the main character of the story, Miriam. If you’ve read The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and I hope you have, you’ll recognize how Mesu maintains a consistent characterization of Miriam as a gentle and caring woman who places the needs of others before her own. We learn that in the time period between the first and second books, Miriam (who is now eighty-six years old) has become a trusted midwife/healer as well as a prophetess for Israel. My heart warmed to this elderly protagonist because her story brought to mind the many seasons of ministry we will experience. I found her reactions to change and her twinge of jealousy towards God’s call on others to be very… human.
With Miriam, I perceived subtle changes in Mesu’s writing as compared to her previous novels. Her scenes, which have always been ladened with rich historical details, felt even warmer — as if I’d been invited into Miriam’s actual longhouse versus simply picturing it in my mind. Additionally, she has ramped up the level of suspense! Even knowing that Mesu would not depart from scripture, I remained on the edge of my seat as Pharoah’s army came bearing down on the Hebrews. Finally, it seemed to me that love (familial and romantic) took a more central role in this story.
I could go on and on, but I fear I may give away too much. Read this book and remember my advice — some books are meant to be read slowly. Let the message seep in as you enjoy another fabulous biblical fiction novel by Mesu Andrews!
I received this book from the author for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”