Pearl in the Sand
by Tessa Afshar
Author Website: www.TessaAfshar.com
Available in paperback, Kindle edition and audio versions. Moody Publishers, 2010; ISBN: 0802458815; 320 pages.
A fictionalized account of Rahab from the Bible, Pearl in the Sand is filled with
multi-faceted characters and profound truths about God and faith. There
are many parts I found absolutely fascinating, sections that challenged
me to look deeper into the Scriptural account. Other chapters urged me
to evaluate my faith and personal commitment to God. Read some of my reflections here.
This is a romance novel, so it focuses heavily on the characters of Rahab (the prostitute living in the wall of Jericho who hides the Israelite spies) and Salmone (the man who married her after she aligns with the Israelites and ascribes to the true, living God). I absolutely adore the story of Rahab. Her profession of faith in Joshua is nothing less than inspiring! She not only converted from a detestable life to one of great faith, she eventually became the great-great-grandmother of King David. This solidly puts her in the lineage of Jesus the Christ.
So often when studying this part of biblical history, we focus on the details of Joshua's leadership and the battle of Jericho. But these were real people -- all of them -- with flesh and emotion. They had mental hurdles to overcome when embracing one another and faith in God. This book does a tremendous job of revealing exactly that. I loved the cultural elements woven within the story.
Born and raised in Iran for the first fourteen years of her life, Tessa Afshar attended boarding school in the UK before moving permanently to the US. She was voted "New Author of the Year, 2011" by the Family Fiction sponsored Readers' Choice Awards.
Final Thoughts: This was a great read and an incredible debut novel! I look forward to more from this new author.