Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Review: The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy

ISBN: 978-0452289062
Publisher: Plume
Paperback: 368 pages
Genre: Historical (Biblical) Fiction
First Lines: The women were standing on high places, shielding their eyes from the blazing sun with their hands, peering into the distance in search of messengers from the battlefield. Each knew that her life depended on the outcome of the battle, but their lives depended on opposite results.
One Word Review: Captivating

Summary from Amazon:

In ancient Israel, war is looming. Deborah, a highly respected leader, has coerced the warrior Barak into launching a strike against the neighboring Canaanites. Against all odds he succeeds, returning triumphantly with Asherah and Nogah, daughters of the Canaanite King, as his prisoners. But military victory is only the beginning of the turmoil, as a complex love triangle develops between Barak and the two princesses. Deborah, recently cast off by her husband, develops a surprising affinity for Barak. Yet she struggles to rebuild her existence on her own terms, while also groping her way toward the greatest triumph of her life.

The Triumph of Deborah is a richly detailed story that was much more easily readable than what I had anticipated. Though I was unfamiliar with Deborah's history, it never felt unfamiliar to me as the story was so well-crafted. Fans of historical fiction will love Eva Etzioni-Halevy's descriptive narrative and will appreciate a glimpse into what the life of this fascinating woman must have been like. I particularly liked the author's characterizations. By the end of the book, I felt I had connected with these women in a very real sense. There were a few moments when i felt a bit bogged down with some of the writing, but overall, it flowed really well. The Triumph of Deborah is a wonderful story that I would highly recommend.


Anonymous said...

I am always a little weary of historical novels becuase sometimes I really don't know what era or figure the book is about. So I generally keep away. But you review is good. Makes me want to read the book Traci

Shana said...

Traci, I really enjoyed this one too. I am not at all familiar with the story of Deborah and I feel as if I know her quite well now!

Anonymous said...

Dear Traci,
Thank you for your lovely review of THE TRIUMPH OF DEBORAH.

I would also like to point out that although it is a historical/biblical novel, by pure chance it has become timely, as women leaders take center stage in both the U.S. and Israel (where I live.)

It features one of the Bible's most eminent woman leaders--who already cracked the glass ceiling some three thousand years ago. It first hit the bookshelves at the height of Hillary Clinton's historical race for the White House. Now, just a few months later, Sarah Palin is the first woman to run on the Republican presidential ticket... and In Israel, Tzipi Livni is on her way to becoming the first woman prime minister since Golda Meir.

All of them, and other women who are trying to carve out careers for themselves, may find inspiration in Deborah.

With all good wishes,


Lenore said...

I am putting my review of this up tomorrow!