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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Rachel & Leah by Orson Scott Card

Rachel & Leah by Orson Scott Card. Series: Women of Genesis. Salt Lake City, Utah: Shadow Mountain, 2004. ISBN: 1-57008-996-5

This is the third in Orson Scott Card's "Women of Genesis" series. And like the previous two, it is an eminently readable book that will certainly appeal to those with a Christian background, but whose appeal should be far wider, if other readers give it a chance. If you've enjoyed Orson Scott Card's writing in other genres, primarily science fiction and fantasy, then you may well enjoy his writing here, also. Particularly if it's his WRITING that you enjoy, not just his subject matter.

I do have to say that Card's version of this Bible story, the first half of the story of Jacob and the daughters of Laban, plus their "handmaidens," Zilpah and Bilhah, puts a bit more of a strain on my credulity than did the first two books, which related the stories of Sarah and Rebekah, respectively. I wrote about Rebekah that after reading it, one might agree that not only is this an accurate depiction of how it "might have been," but possibly even how it "ought to have been."

I'm not sure I'd be willing to go quite that far this time, as Card spins a very convoluted and not entirely convincing version of how Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rebekah. He works a little too hard to make it appear to have been an almost honest accident, instead of the deliberate deception that is certainly implied if not overtly stated in the relatively sparse Biblical account. This is more the way an optimist might WISH that it had happened than an attempt at accurately depicting what probably DID happen.

Still, it is an eminently readable book, and sure to be enjoyed by anyone who is casually interested in Old Testament stories. Definitely recommended.

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