Years ago, I started a short story that was supposed to be based in ancient Israel. Later that year, I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and re-wrote the story plus at least 10,000 words of a very long sidetrack involving a cave and hiding from the enemy (oh, fun!). Hey, it helped me win that year, anyway! Over the following year, I didn’t even look back on that draft—I knew it was so bad it needed a complete re-write. Since then, it has gone through several revisions, although I haven’t touched the story for three or four years now.
Even so, the setting in 66-67 AD Jerusalem has gripped my heart and I still remember the hours of research and figuring out story tidbits fondly. It was a fascinating time in Jewish history; not very pretty, but also containing some truly amazing things.
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Fast forward to a month or so ago when I saw the announcement of author Faith Blum’s new book, Trust and Obey. After reading the synopsis and seeing the cover, I knew I wanted to read it, too. Turns out it has a good amount of similarities with my story, so I felt like I had come home when I opened the book and sat down to read!
About the Book
Hadassah and Gidal love their parents and will do anything for them. When Priestess Basmat tell Ehud and Jerusha to pay their debt, they cannot and she takes Hadassah and Gidal as her slaves for two years.
The priestess works them hard, but there are two other servants to divide the load with, so they cope as well as they can. Then King Saul comes in disguise requesting the priestess’s other services—as a medium.
Will Hadassah and Gidal trust Adonai to take care of them? What will happen after Priestess Basmat comes face-to-face with the prophet Samuel?
Trust and Obey was one of those books you pick up, expecting a fairly light read, and find yourself sucked into right away. I don’t know if it was because I was on a reading binge (pre-test jitters, anyone?), or if it was because the story was just that good, but I had a hard time putting this book down.
I loved the setting for this story. David, not-quite-yet king of Israel, is still dealing with Saul, trying to respect him as God’s anointed. Saul is struggling with no connection with God—and he’s scared about the future. And Hadassah and her brother are slaves to an evil woman who claims to be God’s priestess but often does other things that seem to contradict that claim.
I’ve loved settings in ancient Israel ever since I wrote my story. So seeing another author’s idea of what that may have been like a few hundred years previous to that (although still roughly in the “same” culture) was very intriguing.
This book stuck pretty close to the Biblical narrative, which I appreciated. I did enjoy the details that were added to help the story flow better, even though at times I wondered if the characters would have really done what they did in the situation in real life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and glimpse into Biblical history. The theme of obedience even when it seems unnecessary came through very well, and was a good reminder that even when I don’t understand why God wants me to do something, I should step out in faith. Another great book from Faith Blum!
I requested a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
About the Author
Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She’s lived in, or outside of, small towns her whole life. The thought of living in a city with more than 60,000 people in it scares her, especially after some interesting adventures driving through big cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Faith currently resides in the middle of the state of Wisconsin with her husband and their cat, Smokey. She is blessed to be able to have writing as her full-time career with household work and cooking to do on the side. She loves to paint walls as long as she doesn’t have to do hallways or ceilings.
When not writing, you can find her cooking food from scratch due to food allergies (fun), doing dishes (meh), knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband (yay!). She is also a Community Assistant for the Young Writers Workshop and loves her work there. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website.
Let’s discuss: What was the last historical fiction you’ve read recently? Have you ever written a story, only to abandon it later?