Monday, February 20, 2017
Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope- Texie Susan Gregory
Description: Trapped beneath 400 years of Egypt’s injustices, the Hebrew people await deliverance from generations of Egyptian slavery. But while it is still dark, God is at work. Young Jochebed is unaware the Master Weaver is preparing her to mother three formidable leaders: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife tasked to kill Hebrew male newborns, remembers childhood stories of a merciful God and cannot resist His call on her life.
Two women, each following the dangerous path God has set before them—this is their story.
My Thoughts: When I first picked this up, I expected it to be like most Biblical Fiction. That is, a main character's romantic story woven into a Biblical narrative. Slender Reeds is nothing like that.
In ways, this is good. It is far more realistic to the cultural setting and time period, where survival outweighs romance. The slavery of the Hebrews is also more realistic, with the characters' daily lives filled with pain and drudgery as they seek out a glimmer of God's hope. Hope is slender as a reed in this story, with arranged marriages, barrenness, and ever breaking friendships. This is not the story for someone looking for a light-hearted read.
On the other hand, Jochebed's lack of a romance leaves Pharaoh (you know, murderer of Hebrew children) with a far better love story. Amram is virtually ignored in this story of Moses' humble origins, which disappointed me as I would have loved to see how all of this affected him. Instead, friendship was the main relational conflict of the novel, one which unfortunately seemed to repeat the same pattern.
Gregory's depiction of Hebrew slavery is likely a very honest one. While the full extent of their suffering is not detailed in the Bible, it is none the less known that the people suffered greatly. However, there were things I think could have been written better and I wish Amram had played a larger role. I would keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to read this.
I have provided an honest review after I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley.