Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Triumph of Deborah

The Triumph of Deborah provided an interesting portrayal of the early conflicts between the Canaanite people and Israelites, and the important role Deborah played in attaining peace. Although nearly all of this novel is a fictional in nature, it provided a glimpse into a little talked about time period in Israelite history that is vastly different from today’s society in terms of economics, justice, education, and human rights.

Much of the novel focuses on Barak, a reluctant battle leader, and his earthly desires for women and prosperity. He is torn between two women, the one he loves, and his trophy wife. The story is rich in detail, and treats the reader to a story rich with romance, historical tidbits, and just enough conflict to keep it interesting.

Three women play prominently in this story, Asherah, the Canaanite daughter of the defeated and deceased King Jabin; Nogah, the secret daughter of King Jabin; and Deborah, the Israelite Judge and Prophetess. Barak has throws his values out the window and pursues each women in turn, before finally realizing his true love.

Deborah remains level-headed, honorable, and wise throughout the novel. It’s easy to see why she is so admired and respected. At every turn she unselfishly helps anyone in need, and her heart reaps the rewards eventually.

The character I most liked was Nogah. I found her life to be so fascinating as she moved from slave to Kings daughter, to maid, to scribe, to wife. She leads her life in the best way she knows how despite the odds against her at every turn.

Very little of this book focuses on the Jewish religion, instead it’s more about a time period in Israelite history. The writing is at times very formal, but I believe that adds to the overall historical romance feel. I'm not normally a big fan of romance novels, but I do enjoy biblical history and historical fiction, so this was a pleasure to read and certainly enriched my understanding of this time in history.


Eva Etzioni-Halevy said...

Thanks for the thoughtful and encouraging review of my novel THE TRIUMPH OF DEBORAH.

I would like to add that by pure chance, the novel became topical after it was published, as women's leadership is becoming prominent in both the United States and Israel (where I live.)

If ever the question arose whether a woman can lead a nation, the answer the Bible--and based on it my novel--gives, is a resounding YES.

That does not mean that ANY woman can do so, but that is another matter.

Many cheers,


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