Faith Readers Group Review: Pearl in the Sand

The story of Rahab is a fascinating story in the Bible, full of faith, hope, and happily ever after.  It’s also a beautiful picture of God’s saving grace and a testimony to all that He doesn’t care about our past. He can use anyone for His glory. I love this story. Don’t you? There’s so much to unpack.

For the month of March, we chose Biblical fiction. The book: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar. Here’s a peek: 

“Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel’ Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.” 
Mixed feelings arose about this book.  Here are some of everyone’s thoughts.

“It stayed on point and accurate to Biblical history.”
“I could identify with Rahab wanting her father’s love. Everyone wants to feel safe and loved.”
“I was grabbed from the beginning. I laughed and cried.”
“I like to read to escape and this was an easy, quick read. I enjoyed it.”
“I didn’t like this book at all. The author rushed through the beginning and never really engaged me. I didn’t have any emotions for Rahab, so I didn’t care as much when she became a prostitute.”
“The author used phrases and words that were not around during that time. I seriously doubt Salmone would look at a tired Rahab and say, ‘You look spent.’ This happened several different times–using modern phrases and words. And she thought the water was cold as ‘ice’ which they didn’t have then.”
“I thought it was more of a told story. I never felt like the character going through the events.” 
“I thought the author said some really good things about life and any woman who’s had a past, not necessarily as a prostitute, but a promiscuous past would benefit from reading this. There’s  a lot of healing in this book.”
As you can see, not everyone agreed but that makes for great discussion! We also enjoyed the desserts and fruit with our coffee! 

Overall rating out of 5 stars (it was literally divided down the middle between 4 stars and 2 stars):  3 star average

This won’t be anyone’s last Biblical fiction read, that’s for sure. We’re reading She Walks in Beauty for April! 

Have you ever read Biblical fiction? What did you read? Do you like it or not? Why? 

19 thoughts on “Faith Readers Group Review: Pearl in the Sand

  1. Francine Rivers has a set of Biblical history books (they are short…I think there are about 10) that are kind of cool to read. She basically tells the stories with the details we know and expands on them. They made me think and really connect with the Biblical characters more.

    1. I keep hearing about these. I need to add them to my TBR pile!

  2. Sometimes I like Biblical fiction, other times I have a harder time with it. It just depends. I'll have to check this one out!

    I LOVED She Walks in Beauty. Loved, loved, loved. Can't wait to hear your group's opinion on that one!

    1. I agree. I happen to adore Jill Eileen Smith and Linda Rios Brooks! Excellent Biblical fiction authors!

  3. No, I've never read a Biblical fiction read. But this does look like it would be a great discussion book!

    PS. We had out Women's Ministry tea party on Saturday and it went awesomely! I didn't make that chicken salad recipe you sent me though. I was able to delegate some of the work and the woman I asked had a recipe of her own.

    1. Oh good! Glad it was a success. You'll have to post pics. 🙂

  4. REALLY enjoy biblical fiction for the most part! May or may not read this one now. Thanks!

    1. Don't you write Biblical fiction, Joanne? Seems like I saw that somewhere. 🙂

  5. I've read Nancy Moser's The Woman at the Well. It was about the Samaritan woman's past before she met Jesus. I enjoyed it for the most part. Moser did a good job in creatively telling the story of how the woman came to have five different men in her life, and how she came to be shunned by her community.

    1. I have that book, but haven't read it yet!

  6. I loved Francine Rivers Biblical fiction books. I highly recommend them. I loved Tamar's story the most. It was powerfully written. I felt for her and cried for her. I've also read Jill Eileen Smith's books which are about King David's wives. I enjoyed them too.

    Hope you enjoy 'She walks in beauty' I love Siri Mitchell. Of all her historicals, this one was my favorite!

    1. I'm even more convinced I need to read these! I adored She Walks in Beauty! I'll be reading more of Siri Mitchell for sure.

  7. I'm also a Francine Rivers fan!

    1. I've read 2 of her novels and loved them both.

  8. I loved Francine River's novellas about the 5 women in Jesus' genealogy. They were wonderful! I have some biblical fiction by other authors, but they haven't engaged me like F. River's books.

    1. I think it really depends on the author and apparently, FR is the queen! 🙂

  9. Yes, Jessica, I've read Biblical fiction. My absolute fave? Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee. It's about Satan. Loved it!! She also wrote Havah, a retelling of Eve from creation until Adam's death. It was powerful. Tosca Lee has such a gift with words. I'm in awe of her!

    Also, Jill Eileen Smith has the Wives of David series. I read the first, Michal, and really enjoyed it.

    1. Havah was one of our choices, but it got voted out for this one. I liked her Demon book but I think I liked Linda Rios Brooks' book from the demon perspective better. But then they were very different books. I loved Michal as well!

  10. I haven't read any Biblical fiction yet, but I've been eyeing Francine Rivers' Biblical fiction series. I read her "Mark of the Lion" series (Ancient Rome, early church) and loved them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *