As a lover of historical fiction, when I read the book description of Harvest of Rubies, I knew it had potential:
The prophet Nehemiah's cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she is a woman.
In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father's subsequent emotional distance and she came to two conclusions: that God does not care about her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth - the measure of her self.
Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn't failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.
Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums - her very being proves to be a blessing to others.
Earlier this year I'd read Pearls in the Sand, also by Tessa Afshar, so I had confidence in the author and her ability to tell a great story. I was not disappointed. Set in the Nehemiah's Persia, Harvest of Rubies follows a young, motherless girl as she struggles to come of age, make her mark and find her destiny. Because of her own feelings of inadequacy, she makes decisions which have far-reaching consequences . . . not just for herself, but for those she loves, as well.
Afshar incorporates Old Testament history flawlessly into her setting. Her insight into the culture of the time period is marvelous and adds luster to the story. She also weaves a wonderful tale of intrigue definitely leaving the reader wanting more.
I admit that at first I was taken aback by what I felt was an abrupt ending ... until after a little research I realized that there is meant to be a sequel. Good thing!
This is definitely a 4-star read and one I recommend highly! For more information on the author (and the opportunity to read Chapters 1 & 2 of Harvest of Rubies online, check out her bio page HERE. Her story is really quite fascinating in and of itself.
So, do you find yourself interested? Leave me a comment (make sure I have a way to contact you) and I'll choose a winner on Monday. Happy reading!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from River North Fiction by Moody
Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review.
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal
Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and
Testimonials in Advertising.