About the Book;
First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.
After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.
Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.
When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.
The Thief of Corinth has proven to be yet another gem from Tessa Afshar! She successfully builds a suspenseful plot as Ariadne seeks to save her family's legacy and her father's reputation even when her misguided actions put herself and those she loves in danger. There are many sub-plots throughout the story, one of the central ones being Ariadne's growing affection for Justus, her neighbor and brother's best friend from childhood. Afshar develops their relationship slowly that burns within by the end of the novel. Theo's story was touching as well as devastating. An author's note hints that a future novel will continue Theo's story (please, please, please!!!). But my favorite aspect of Afshar's novels is her uncanny ability to portray Biblical characters as real people living their daily lives just like us. Meticulous details about daily life as experienced for this family in Corinth left me feeling as though I was a spectator in the room experiencing the drama, events, and social aspects within the story instead of a mere reader engrossed in a captivating tale of a brave heroine. Paul's introduction to the story and his interactions with the family brought his New Testament writings and persona to life making him and Jesus's teachings relatable for our daily lives. Another five star performance by Afshar!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required but was voluntary and contains my own thoughts and opinions regarding this literary work.
Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of 2016 and won the INSPY Award for General Fiction. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year in the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards. Tessa lived in the Middle East for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States. She holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessaAfshar/
About the Book:
Pearl in the Sand is Afshar’s fictionalized retelling of the heroic Canaanite prostitute, Rahab, from the Old Testament giving readers a glimpse into what this brave woman’s life may have been like.
After being sold into prostitution by her father, Rahab resigns herself into believing that her only worth is what she can give to men. However, Yahweh, the God of Israel, had a different plan deploying her as his agent in protecting the two Israelite spies who infiltrated her city, Jericho. In exchange for her assistance, the spies promise that when Jericho falls to the Israelite army, Rahab and her family will be rescued from the destruction. When the spies keep their promise, Rahab and her family have to learn a new way of life and the ways of God as they integrate into Jewish society. At first, Salmone, one of the leaders of the tribe of Judah, is disheartened that a prostitute and her pagan family have come to live among his people. But as time passes, Rahab’s hunger for God, gentle ways, and intelligent conversation challenges Salmone’s original perceptions of her creating instead a longing to connect with this anomaly of a woman. After the two surprisingly fall in love and marry, they discover they have very different expectations for the marriage. While Salmone is hopeful that they can build a new future together leaving Rahab’s unscrupulous past behind, she feels even more unworthy of her husband’s love withdrawing into herself. Her insurmountable grief at her past sins and his growing frustration and resentment at her closed-off response to him causes turmoil and pain for the newlyweds. As God softens Salmone’s heart through the wise counsel of Joshua, his mentor and Israel’s leader, he begins to understand the deep pain in Rahab’s heart and finds a way to help her understand not only the depths of his love for her, but also her great worth in the eyes of the loving God who created her.
Pearl in the Sand is one of those timeless love stories that touches the heart of everyone who reads it. Afshar does a superb job at portraying the struggles that both Rahab and Salmone could have experienced when having to reconcile her past with the future God had for her instead. Although we know that both Rahab and Salmone (and others in the story) were real people, I love how Afshar makes the characters come to life taking them off the pages of my Bible and thrusting them into the realm of humanity. Two scenes were my absolute favorite. Salmone’s discourse using her lost earring as an explanation of God’s unwavering love and adoration for Rahab despite her past was breathtaking. Likewise, Salmone’s tender, gentle guidance of Rahab as they finally begin exploring intimacy within their marriage bed is not only passionate but is also a beautiful example of what God intended sexual intimacy to encompass between a husband and wife.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated by the publisher or author in any way.
Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016 and was nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year in the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards. Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She now serves on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessaAfshar/
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