Monday, November 14, 2016

Shadow of the Storm- Connilyn Cossette

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira's gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

My Thoughts: Even though I was not a huge fan of the first book in this series, I am really glad that I decided to give this book a go. The story of Israel's time at Mt. Sinai was far more relatable in my mind than was the depiction of the plagues in the first book. As well, Shira's struggle with self-condemnation was much easier for me to relate with, and thus drew me into the story.

Much of what happened in the daily lives of the Israelites is left unspoken in the Bible. Outside of major events and people, there is no mention of how individuals coped with their sudden flight from Egypt. In this story, I believe that Cossette did an amazing job of bringing Biblical events to life and showing how these would have affected someone on a personal level.

However, some of the actions and opinions of her characters did not seem to fit well with the culture that was depicted. <spoiler> For one, in a culture that requires the stoning of an unfaithful wife, Leisha should have been sentenced to death long before the events of this story. </spoiler> While our own culture depicts this as a harsh sentence, it is none the less what would have been required in that time period. This, along with other cultural issues, made the story less accurate in my mind. Though I can understand the author wanting to make the story more palatable for a modern audience, it felt false to me.

I have provided an honest review after having received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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