Friday, March 18, 2016

Miriam by Mesu Andrews - REVIEWED

About the Book:
The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.

 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

My Thoughts:
Greater suffering means deeper revelation as you near God’s promise.”  (p. 161)

These words, from Abba Amram’s lips as he spoke to Moses and Miriam are far more prophetic than anyone could begin to guess.  Honestly, I didn’t dream Mesu Andrews could capture anything more realistic than her previous biblical fiction, but I think Miriam takes this genre to a new and more complete telling than ever before!

The complexity of the relationships in this novel blew my mind!  The societal constraints for women is examined under an extremely clear and sometimes harsh light.  (there really isn’t anything gentle about a woman’s role during that time!) Taliah’s role broke my heart time and time again, as did Miriam.  (Well, Miriam not as much because she could hear Yahweh’s voice most of the time, and that brought her much comfort.)  The role of Moses, Aaron and Eleazar are all well-developed and complex in their emotional angst and the realities they deal with as each plague descends.  I guarantee you that you will consider the Exodus story in a whole new way after reading this novel!

I was reminded of the Biblical account as I read, because Andrews opens most chapters with verses from the book of Exodus.  As always, I was led to consider my own ability to hear God’s direction in my life and I was challenged to seek the total dependence on God’s guidance that Miriam seeks throughout the novel. 

This is a phenomenal novel, and one I would highly encourage everyone to read!

About the Author:
Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.

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