Friday, April 13, 2012

Love Amid the Ashes - Mesu Andrews

"Love Amid the Ashes" is a fictional book focused on the story of Dinah and Job of the Bible.  The author is very talented, and the amount of research she did for this really pays off.
There are several storylines, and all are individually compelling.  We see life from the perspective of Job, Sitis (Job's wife), and Dinah.  Although much of the book is fictional, I did learn a lot about Dinah's story from "Love Amid the Ashes."  Reasonable assumptions were drawn about the personalities of Jacob, Esau, and many other historically correct characters.
The basic outline of the plot stays true to the Biblical account, but the majority of the book is completely fictional.  It became difficult for me to draw lines in my mind as to what was true and what was creative interpretation.
I have always held the opinion that it is unfair to judge Job's wife for her moment of weakness recorded in the Book of Job.  We know very little about Job's wife other than that she said "Curse God and die."  We must remember that she, too, had lost all her children and possessions in one day.  A normal person, Christian or not, would be in agony and most likely say something they would regret.  I didn't think this one quote was enough to make the book believable when painting a picture of Sitis as an idolater and would-be adulteress.  As I read, this continued to nag at me.  More likely, a man of integrity like Job would have placed a high value on an excellent wife similar to what is described in Proverbs 31.  Because I was distracted by how much information was given in the novel that was not included in the Bible's version, I think I would have enjoyed this beautifully written story much more if the names and a few other details had been changed so that this appeared unrelated to the story of Job.  I left more confused about Job's story rather than enlightened, as I felt after reading Dinah's story.
That said, the book was captivating and held my attention solidly all the say through.  I am looking forward to more from Mesu Andrews.  She has an extraordinary talent for writing and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.
This book was a free gift from the publisher in exchange for a non-biased review.

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