Anippe is the daughter of Pharaoh but has been given to his honored general, Horemheb, and his wife after Pharaoh’s wife dies in childbirth. Much loved by her new abbi and ummi, Anippe grows in beauty and grace. When Pharaoh dies and his kingdom is inherited by his son, King Tut, Horemheb decides Anippe should marry and gives her to his best captain, Sebak.
Anippe is terrified—terrified not of the gentle giant, Sebak, but that she will get pregnant. She watched her mother die in childbirth and does not want the same fate to come to her. Deceiving Sebak, she uses herbs to prevent pregnancy, although Sebak would love a son.
Disaster strikes. King Tut’s wife loses child after child in miscarriage and Tut is convinced by his other advisor, the dastardly Ay, that the reason is an imbalance in ma’at because the Hebrews have grown so numerous. Tut decrees that all newborn Hebrew boys be killed at birth. Grief-stricken at the edict, the Hebrew midwives refuse to fulfill King Tut’s decree.
Sebak knows that one of Anippe’s Hebrew friend’s wife is pregnant and thinks Anippe herself might be pregnant. He orders the Ramessid guards to fulfill the decree in the unskilled workers area only—to leave the craftsmen’s village alone to save Mered and Puah’s child. Then Sebak is sent off to war with the Hittites, still thinking Anippe pregnant, and Anippe is left as the Amira of Avaris. With Sebak gone, his edict about the craftsmen’s village will probably be disregarded.
Mered and Puah’s next door neighbors, Amram and Jochebed had a son soon after the decree of King Tut was given. They have managed to hide him so far, but now fear he will be discovered. They decide to build a baby ark, a reed basket made waterproof with tar and pitch and float him in the Nile—hopefully, to drift downriver and be rescued. He is rescued, but not in a far off land. The basket has floated into the bathhouse of Anippe who has discovered she is not with child. Deciding to keep this child, whose skin color is close to hers, she begins to weave an elaborate deception with the aid of her sister, Ankhe, and Miriam, the baby’s sister.
Mesu Andrews has taken the story of Moses and Pharaoh’s Daughter and fleshed it out with historically-drawn details—supposing what might have been and how the rescue and subsequent upbringing may have occurred. You will fall in love with the characters, thrill with the dangers, and admire the Hebrews who lived daily in fear of their lives yet continued to honor El Shaddai—the true God. Come journey with Anippe and Mered and Miriam and Mehy on their adventure. Four stars. The Pharaoh’s Daughter: A Treasures of the Nile Novel.
In my interview with her recently, Mesu told me her passion is to find women in the Old Testament that God felt important enough to mention.Whether He mentions them by name or not, she wanted to give them a story. In other books, she has written of Gomer and Dinah to name two.
I asked her to tell me more about Mesu and her writing. She says she is an “old fogie” and wants people to take personal responsibility for their choices—that when they do, God honors it. Therefore, she lets her characters reap the consequences of their decisions. In Pharaoh’s Daughter, Anippe makes the choice to overcome. This responsibility is very real to Mesu. Suffering from a chronic illness since 1997, she realized that staying in bed was not productive so she chose to persevere, live with the pain, and write.
Mesu grew up in the “middle of corn fields” in Indiana and met her husband in third grade. They now have two grown daughters and six grandkids. She was a speaker until she was bedridden for six months and so turned to writing. They now live in Washington State where her husband is Dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
Asked what her readers might not know about her, she laughed and said she was bucked off a horse when she was six years old, but still enjoys an occasional horse ride. She persevered through difficulty and pain even at that early age!
Next in her writing schedule is the story of Miriam, Moses’ sister—a glimpse into the life and struggle of God’s first prophetess, a woman called to trust Him though she doesn’t understand Him. I look forward to reading that book too! I so came to love Miriam in Pharaoh’s Daughter.
To learn more about Mesu Andrews and her books, check out her website, www.mesuandrews.com
Waterbrook Press gave me a copy of Pharaoh’s Daughter in exchange for my candid review.