I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Revell Books, Baker Publishing Co., in exchange for my honest review and participation in a blog tour.
This is the story of Rahab from the book of Joshua, Jewish history and part of the Christian Old Testament. There is very little known of Rahab except that she was a Canaanite prostitute who lived in a house whose back wall was part of the wall of Jericho, and that she aided two spies from the Israeli camp across the Jordan by lowering them from her window. In exchange, life was granted to all who lived within her house, which was marked by a crimson cord hanging from her window.
Smith has used information from the Bible, from history of the times, and knowledge of Canaanite practices to imagine the circumstances which led this brave woman into prostitution, and then to putting her faith in the God of Israel, and eventually becoming part of the lineage of King David, and Jesus, the son of Mary. This novel is full of the sights and scents of the market of Jericho, the plight of people (especially women or the poor) trapped in debts they are unable to pay, details of the making of cloth and bread, and the way of judgment and redemption provided by the God of Joshua and Moses. The new religion must have been difficult at times for Rahab to understand, and it brought new meaning to me of the blood sacrifice for sins as Rahab grappled with learning about her new faith.
I found this book to be very plausible historical fiction and I appreciated the author’s note at the end of the story about how she formulated the unknown from various references. I was interested to learn that Smith has written historical fiction about other women from the Old Testament: The Wives of King David, The Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon. The Crimson Cord is the first in her series of Daughters of The Promised Land. I look forward to reading more from her. * * * *
This book is available from Amazon and other fine book sellers.