Eva Etzioni-Halevy offered me a copy of her most recent novel, The Triumph of Deborah. While I didn’t have much experience with “biblical fiction,” I thought I would give it a try. I’m really glad I did.
The Triumph of Deborah is slated as the story of the biblical prophetess, Deborah, and her role in the war and subsequent peace between the Isrealites and the Canaanites. But, it is so much more than this. It was also a love story with a message about how the positive power of love can change people.
I thought the book was very well-written and it described the time period, I think, accurately. The book did focus on the importance of one true God to the Isrealites. It quoted Torah law throughout the book and I found the information quite interesting. As a Christian, I was not that familiar with the religious laws of the Isrealites beyond the ten commandments. I found some of them surprising, especially those related to the relations between men and women.
Also a surprise was the fact that Deborah wasn’t the focus through the entire novel. The relationships between Barack and the two daughters of the defeated Cannanite king were prominent story lines. I really enjoyed this. I found the faith and love of one of the daughters to be inspirational, especially in its results.
This is a story of strong women. I found that it told the story in an effective manner without turning me off. Sometimes, I worry that women stories can be one-sided, showing only strengths, not weaknesses (I know you’re thinking, what kind of modern woman am I?) But, in this case, we see Deborah’s strengths and weaknesses and how she uses both to help the people that she loves so dearly. I find that to be more realistic and, in turn, more helpful in the cause of “women’s rights.”
After finishing this book, I think I’m going to search out Eva Etzioni-Halevy’s other two novels, The Song of Hannah and The Garden of Ruth.
So, in closing, I would recommend this book to all. It offers more than a biblical story, but also a love story and a story of woman leadership.