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Deb’s Dozen: Upper-class woman sold into slavery, forced to fend for herself, blossoms richly.
You’re in for a double delight. I’ve been on an Angela Hunt reading kick and just finished two of her Biblical fiction books, Delilah: Treacherous Beauty(2016) and Egypt’s Sister (2017). The story of Delilah we sort of know from the Bible–Hunt fleshes out the story and helps us realize why Delilah might have done what she did to Samson. Egypt’s Sister tells of a woman who might have been Cleopatra’s friend and what life was like in Egypt during those days as well as in Rome.
First: Delilah. Delilah’s mother has married a man from Philistia. A black woman from Egypt, Delilah’s mother was never accepted by society or by her stepson. Delilah, also dark-skinned, has a rare beauty and is lusted after by the stepson. When the man dies, Delilah’s mother is sold into slavery and Delilah is used and abused by the son. Finally she escapes and through a series of events, ends up a weaver by trade. Her story, and how she meets Samson, is fascinating although I never really empathized with her because she always thought herself better than others. However, Hunt did bring her to life and Samson as well. Four stars.
Second: Chava. Chava is the daughter of the Jewish scholar, Daniel, who tutors the children of King Auletes of Eqypt. Hunt has chosen the period between the Old and New Testaments as the setting for this story. Chava is closest in age to Urbi, the second daughter of the king. Chava is rich, privileged, and spoiled. Because of their close friendship, Chava feels Urbi will always keep her close by–in fact, Chava receives a message from HaShem telling her, “Your friendship with the queen lies in my hands. You will be with her on her happiest day and her last. And you, daughter of Israel, will know yourself, and you will bless her.” Unfortunately, royalty rules and Urbi, now Cleopatra, has Chava and her father thrown in prison over a minor issue where they languish for months and are finally sold as slaves. Chava ends up in Italy never quite coming to grips with her new situation. She always thinks of herself as better than others and is fortunate to end up in the household of Octavian Caesar and befriended by Agrippa. Another fascinating, well-researched story you’ll want to read. Four stars.
Angela Hunt is a much awarded, prolific author with over a hundred books in print and is known for her Biblical fiction. She is a New York Times best-selling author for three books. Angie holds a doctorate in Biblical studies and a ThD degree. She, her husband, and their mastiffs live in Florida.