Bible History can be fascinating or dull. My personal preference is well-written historical fiction of the various eras. One of my fave authors of this genre is Tessa Afshar. Harvest of Rubies is a delightful book set in the Persian reign of Artaxerxes and his Jewish advisor, Nehemiah.
Sarah is an only child whose mother died when she was young. Her scribe father has no clue how to raise a young girl or how to give her the love she needs. As a result, Sarah grows up feeling valued only for her abilities as a scribe and not for her person or personality. When an opportunity arises for Sarah to go to the palace to be the senior scribe for Queen Damaspia, she goes–reluctantly. She is cleaned up and educated on palace protocol. And she does an excellent job for the queen. But Sarah still feels unworthy and unloved.
Because of her value to the queen and as a reward, Damaspia gives her a husband–which horrifies Sarah. You’ll love the palace intrigue, the schemes Sarah uncovers, and the slow realization that maybe she needs the Lord and Lord Darius. How all of the events occur is the stuff of fairy tales–or God in action. Five Stars.
Tessa Afshar is a brilliant author whose first book, Pearl in the Sand, resulted in her being voted as “New Author of the Year” by the Reader’s Choice Awards. She was born in Iran and lived there for her first fourteen years, attended a boarding school for girls in England, and then moved to the US. She converted to Christianity in her twenties and her life changed. She holds an MDiv from Yale and for the last thirteen years has served in full-time Christian service.
Tessa gave me a copy of Harvest of Rubies, but I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.