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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar is up on CFBA! Plus bonus review!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pearl In The Sand
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2010)

Tessa Afshar


Tessa Afshar was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women’s and Prayer ministries at a church in Connecticut.


Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pearl In The Sand, go HERE

Watch the book video:

My review:

Pearl in the Sand is like an Old Testament themed Redeeming Love story, only tamer. I found it profoundly moving at times, and incredibly realistic. Having worked with many women who were used by men, and as a result were deeply emotionally scarred, I found Rahab's view of herself very believable. While Salome was judgmental as men typically are at first, the Lord changed him over time into an admirable hero. But this only happened when his pride was slowly stripped away. I found it incredibly moving how God would not allow him to stay in that prideful state, but kept working on Salmone's heart and using the most unlikely people and situations to work the greatest miracle in his life. We serve such an amazing God!

The author created a setting that rang true to me in many ways, from the damaged beginnings of Rahab's life, to the crumbling of Jericho's walls. It almost felt like I had crawled into the pages of the Old Testament and witnessed some of the events as they happened, including the battles the Hebrews fought. I found that very inspiring. I loved how the author used many symbols in her story to illustrate points...from the lower cough to the venomous snake about to strike. I found Rahab to be both strong and weak, and yet so very human that I loved her even when she was unreasonable with Salmone, who often reacted to her insecurities like a typical man would. That was very well done.

The part that touched me the most in this story was when Rahab finally recognized her incredible worth in God's eyes as well as her husband's. That was powerfully written. I could sense Rahab's heart healing as the scene progressed. I felt her pain and her tears as she released all of the hurt. I was profoundly moved by Salmone's sudden realization of the damage that had been done to her and his tenacious desire to participate in the healing process. The love scenes between husband and wife were emotional, yet tastefully done. This book was so incredible. I loved it. I'm sure readers who enjoy Biblical fiction will adore this story, too.

Blew me away

Pearl in the Sand was published by Moody and released September 1, 2010. This book is also making my best fiction of 2010 list.

1 comment:

tessa afshar said...

Dear Michelle,

Thank you so much for your fantastic review of Pearl. Thanks also for being such a careful reader, picking up on the symbolism. I so appreciate the details in your review.



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