Biblical Fiction — The Triumph of Deborah

 

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.

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8 responses to “Biblical Fiction — The Triumph of Deborah

  1. I just finished this one last week. I’ll be posting my review soon!

  2. I’ve read a couple reviews of this book and it sounds very interesting. I agree. I like stories of women that show strengths and weaknesses…like we really can be. Not sappy chick-lit with super flawed and ridiculous women that somehow end up happily ever after or about really strong women I can’t relate to because they have no flaws. Great review!

  3. Nicole, I read and reviewed this last month here:

    http://blog.literarily.com/2008/08/25/book-review–the-triumph-of-deborah-by-eva.aspx

    I enjoyed it, too. It was different than I expected but in a good way.

    I too am looking forward to reading her other two books.

  4. Dear Nicole,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging review!

    I would like to add a few thoughts of my own about THE TRIUMPH OF DEBORAH, and will be happy to answer any further comments.

    Apart from being a novel for light entertainment, it also pays tribute to Deborah’s strength, and shows how she may serve as a role model for modern women.

    Deborah lived in a male dominated society, where women were downtrodden: they had few legal rights and their position in the family was deplorable. Nonetheless, despite being feminine and even vulnerable in her own life, she succeeded in assertinf herself and attaining an outstanding position as an exalted leader.

    Legally, the situation of women has improved out of all recognition since then. Also, women have many more options open to them today, than they had then. At the same time, today’s women face new and far from negligible difficulties, such that of combining partnership with a man and motherhood with a career.

    The lesson that women today can learn from Deborah is that if she could assert herself then, there is no reason that they (we) should not be able to do so now. Not every woman wants to be a leader, but they can learn from Deborah to assert themselves in what is right for THEM.

  5. I like books with balanced characters. Sounds like a great read. Great review!

  6. Sounds fascinating! I really enjoyed other biblical fiction and didn’t even know about this book.

    I, too, like a strong woman character with a few quirks and/or weaknesses. It makes them a little more relatable and I actually care to read about them.

  7. Pingback: The Triumph of Deborah - Book Review

  8. Pingback: Review: The Triumph of Deborah « Book Addiction

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