I recently reviewed a book by Jill Eileen Smith called The Prophetess which I rated at 4 stars — high praise from me. It was the second book of Smith’s that I’d read. The other is — The Crimson Cord — which I’d also given 4 stars. Since reading these two books, I have made it my business to learn more about this prolific author.
Jill has been a wife for 34 years, a home-schooling stay-at-home mom for her 3 boys, has taught piano, “reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate”. (see full bio) She has been very involved in her local church and has written several books that have grown from research she has done for her church women’s group based on women of the Bible.
Smith has written a series called The Wives of King David: Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba. A second series is Wives of the Patriarchs: Sarai, Rebekah, and Rachel. She has an ebook short series called The Loves of King Solomon: The Desert Princess and The Shepherdess. Her Daughters of the Promised Land series consists, so far, of the two books I have read.
Many of the women Smith has written about are given only a few lines in the Bible but Smith has done a lot of research about Bible times and customs, and uses this knowledge with the scriptures to understand these women, to get into their skin, and write with imagination rooted in the facts of the times to bring these women alive.
In an interview with Joyce from Happy Ever After, Jill said:
I tend to live my character’s trials. That sounds depressing, I suppose, but I’ve been through a lot of difficult changes in the past 10 years or so, and though I don’t always see it at first, sometimes I will have an epiphany and think, “I wonder if Abigail felt this way?” during her particular emotional struggle in the story. And when we moved two of our adult sons across the country, I couldn’t help but think of Sarai when she moved to a country she did not know at age 65. Could I have done that? It’s almost uncanny the emotional connection I make to these characters.
It certainly was apparent in the two books that I have read so far that Jill may invent some circumstances and emotions but is always true to the facts from the Bible and encourages her readers to go to the Bible and read the pertinent scripture for themselves. In The Prophetess, Smith has created an exciting and viable framework for the two chapters from Judges 4 and 5. I found it helpful to get the backstory of events from chapter 3 of Judges as well.
I’m excited to be able to offer a paperback copy of The Prophetess courtesy of Baker Publishing Group to one lucky entrant from Canada or the U.S. in my second Rafflecopter event. The only requirement is to leave a comment below, then click on this Rafflecopter link and enter your information. The raffle will last one week, and the winner will be contacted by email and announced in this blog. Good luck to all!
Other books by Jill Eileen Smith: